Diplomatic relations were established between the USSR and Finland on Dec. 31, 1920, after the signing of a peace treaty on Oct. 14, 1920. The independence of Finland had been recognized by a decree of the Soviet government of Dec. 18 (31), 1917.
As a result of negotiations begun in 1926 at the initiative of the USSR, a treaty on nonaggression and the peaceful resolution of conflicts was signed on Jan. 21, 1932. A mutual assistance pact proposed by the Soviet government in the spring of 1938 was rejected by the Finnish side.
After the beginning of World War II, the Soviet representatives at negotiations in October and November 1939 proposed certain modifications of the Soviet-Finnish border to ensure the security of the USSR. The reactionary rulers of Finland broke off the talks on Nov. 9, 1939, and prepared the Finnish Army for war. The Soviet government denounced the treaty of 1932 on Nov. 28, 1939. The policies of the Finnish government led to the Soviet-Finnish War of 1939–40, which ended in the military defeat of Finland. A peace treaty establishing a new border between the two countries was signed on Mar. 12, 1940. Finland reaffirmed its obligation, under the terms of the treaty of 1920, to maintain warships on the Arctic Ocean only within set limits, to station no planes on the Arctic coast, and to construct no military ports or bases. Under the terms of an agreement on the Aland Islands concluded on Oct. 11, 1940, Finland committed itself to demilitarize the islands and not to allow their use by the military forces of other countries.
After the invasion of the USSR by fascist Germany, Finland declared war on the USSR on June 26, 1941. On Sept. 19, 1944, Finland signed an armistice agreement with the USSR and Great Britain. Finland pledged to recognize the peace treaty of 1940 (as modified) and the agreement of 1940 on the Aland Islands. The Petsamo region was returned by Finland to the USSR. The USSR renounced its right, under the treaty of 1940, to lease the Hanko Peninsula and was granted the right to lease the Porkkala Udd area for the construction of a naval base (the USSR relinquished the area in 1955, before the lease expired). Other obligations imposed on Finland by the armistice agreement included the payment of $300 million in reparations to the USSR (the Soviet government reduced the remaining payments by 50 percent in 1948) and the return to the USSR of all materials and capital equipment taken during the war. Diplomatic relations were reestablished on Aug. 6, 1945.
On Feb. 3, 1947, a treaty was signed that transferred to the USSR 176 sq km of Finnish territory in the area of the Jäniskoski Hydroelectric Power Station and the Niskakoski Dam. A peace treaty was signed on Feb. 10, 1947, that reiterated the conditions of the armistice agreement of 1944. Finland was allowed to maintain limited armed forces, and restrictions were placed on military equipment and experimentation. The Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance was concluded on Apr. 6, 1948, at the initiative of the USSR; the agreement was subsequently extended to 1990 by a protocol of July 20, 1970. This agreement has been of great importance in strengthening peace and security in northern Europe.
A number of other agreements have been concluded between the USSR and Finland. On Feb. 6, 1954, and Jan. 24, 1955, agreements were signed providing Soviet loans to Finland on favorable terms. Agreements were concluded on scientific and technical cooperation on Aug. 16, 1955, on air transportation on Oct. 19, 1955, and on cooperation in veterinary science on Nov. 5, 1959. A treaty on border regulations and the settlement of border incidents was signed on June 23, 1960. An agreement on cultural cooperation was signed on Aug. 27, 1960. A treaty signed on Sept. 27, 1962, permitted Finland to lease the Soviet portion of the Saimaa Canal and Vysotskii Island. A consular convention was signed on Jan. 24, 1966. On Feb. 10, 1967, the two countries agreed to form a permanent joint commission on economic cooperation. Agreements were concluded concerning international motor vehicle travel on Oct. 18, 1968, and cooperation in the peaceful uses of atomic energy on May 14, 1969. A treaty signed on Apr. 20, 1971, provided for economic, technical, and industrial cooperation. On Nov. 23, 1972, a long-term program was agreed upon for the development of trade, industrial cooperation, and specialization. On Oct. 31, 1973, a protocol was signed on the construction of the Kostomuksha Ore-dressing Combine in the Karelian ASSR. An agreement on cooperation in radio and television broadcasting was concluded on Apr. 18, 1974. On Oct. 16, 1974, a long-term program was agreed upon for cooperation in science and technology. Agreements have also been signed, for example, on cooperation in customs problems (Apr. 24, 1975) and on the construction of the second part of the Sveto-gorsk Paper and Pulp Combine (Sept. 1, 1975).
E. M. ZAITSEV