Kekkonen, Urho Kaleva

Kekkonen, Urho Kaleva

(o͞or`hô kä`lāvä kĕ`kōnĕn), 1900–1986, president of Finland (1956–81). The leading spokesman of the Center party (known as the Agrarian party until 1965), he held various cabinet posts from 1936 and was prime minister from 1950 to 1956. He succeeded Juho PaasikiviPaasikivi, Juho Kusti
, 1870–1956, president of Finland (1946–56). He entered the Finnish parliament in 1907 and was minister of finance in 1908–9. After Finland proclaimed full independence from the Soviet Union, Paasikivi was briefly premier (1918), and in
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 as president in 1956. He was reelected in 1962 and 1968, and in 1973 the Finnish parliament voted to extend his term, which was to expire in 1974, until 1978, when he was elected to his final term as president. He resigned for health reasons in 1981, and was succeeded by Mauno KoivistoKoivisto, Mauno Henrik
, 1923–2017, Finnish politician. He was director of the Helsinki Workers' Savings Bank (1959–68) and then governor of the Bank of Finland (1968–82). As a Social Democrat he served as minister of finance (1966–67, 1972).
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. Throughout his career, Kekkonen succeeded in maintaining friendly neutrality with the USSR.

Kekkonen, Urho Kaleva

 

Born Sept. 3, 1900, in Pielavesi. Finnish politician and statesman.

Kekkonen graduated in 1926 from the faculty of law at the University of Helsinki and received his doctorate in jurisprudence in 1936; in 1958 he received an honorary doctorate in jurisprudence from Moscow State University. From 1936 to 1956 he was a deputy in parliament. He had jointed the Agrarian Party in 1926 and was a party leader until 1956 (in 1965 the party changed its name to Center Party). He was minister of justice in 1936–37, minister of internal affairs from 1937 to 1939, and chairman of the Committee on Immigrant Affairs from 1940 to 1943. He served as minister of justice again from 1944 to 1946. Vice-chairman of parliament in 1946–47 and chairman from 1948 to 1950, he was prime minister from 1950 to 1956 (with an interruption); simultaneously he was minister of internal affairs in 1950–51 and minister of foreign affairs in 1952–53 and 1954. Since 1956 he has been president of the Finnish Republic.

With J. K. Paasikivi, Kekkonen initiated Finland’s postwar course of peace in foreign policy, which aimed at developing friendly relations with the USSR (Paasikivi-Kekkonen policy). In May 1963 he proposed that Northern Europe be made a nuclear-free zone of peace. He took part in the conclusion of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between the USSR and Finland (1948); he signed the first Protocol (1955) and ratified the second (1970) extending the period of operation of the treaty. In recognition of his services to the development and strengthening of neighborly relations between the USSR and Finland and his great contribution to the cause of peace, the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet awarded Kekkonen the Order of Lenin in 1964 and the Order of the Friendship of Peoples in 1973. He has often visited the USSR.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
Finliandiia i Sovetskii Soiuz: Stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1960.
Finliandiia i Sovetskii Soiuz: Rechi 1960–1962 godov. Moscow, 1963.
Druzhba i dobrososedstvo: Rechi i vystupleniia, 1963–1967. Moscow, 1968.
Finliandiia i Sovetskii Soiuz—Dobrososedstvo, sotrudnichestvo, vzaimo-ponimanie: Rechi, 1967–1972. Moscow, 1973.
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