Russia: Love it or leave it!

Every country has it's bane. And it seems that one of the banes Finland has to endure, is Russia.

I could go on about history, and mention the various times they tried (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) screw us over. But why do that when there are more recent events to use as an example?

Russia, it seems, is having a slight problem with forest fires. And since they are right across the border, the smoke drifts to Finland. And it's not just the border-areas that are affected, the smoke has reached western Finland as well! So we are not talking about slight amount of smoke here! Helsinki is covered with haze and you can really smell the smoke. People with asthma are suffering, and people are not feeling well.

As soon as this became a problem, I knew exactly how this will proceed. And so far, Russia has not disappointed me. What we have here is a cycle of excuses. It goes like this:

1. "The forest-fires? They are about to be put out". AKA "we are handling it"
2. "The forest-fires will be put out later this week" . AKA "We'll do it ASAP"
3. "We are trying to put out the forest-fires, but the forests are filled with mines and unexploded artillery-shells from the war, and it's causing
us some delays". AKA "We are doing our best, but because of reasons unrelated to us, we are having some problems"

And then then big one:

4. "It's not our fault that the forests are burning! The ones to blame for this are those Finnish tourists who keep or burning down the forests!".

I shit you not. Those are real comments made by Russian authorities. They are not to blame, the blame always lies somewhere else. And this is not the first time they have done this. Last year Finnish government contacted Russian authorities and expressed concern regarding the mistreatment of the Mari-people, who are related to Finns. What did major, government-owned newspaper report of the incident? "The Mari-people are not being mistreated. Rather, what we have here is a plan, where Finland, Estonia and Hungary are planning to create a greater-Finland, and the Mari Republic would be a part of that country".

Really, you can't make this stuff up!

I for one find it quite disturbing that authorities and newspapers that are connected to the Kreml are spreading such a misinformation. And quite a many Russians will believe them, since they will not hear the opposing viewpoint. So according to Russian authorities, Finland is an imperialistic country, that sends people across the border to burn down Russia. Afterwards, Finland will simply annex the western half of they country.

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