Urho Kaleva Kekkonen

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.