Russian president Vladimir Putin could have tested Finland’s new president with a cooperation proposal a few years ago.
This is the opinion of the leading researcher Sinikukka Saari From the Foreign Policy Institute. in the HS election studio Saari, who visited on Monday, said that if the situation were different, Putin could have tried to make a cooperation proposal that sounded positive to the new president. This would have tested the new president.
“Now I don’t think that this would be relevant in the new situation. Perhaps more of this kind of hardening line and possibly a different hybrid effect,” said Saari.
A coalition was elected as the next president of Finland on Sunday Alexander Stubb.
A senior university lecturer also visited the election studio Hanna Wass The University of Helsinki estimates that Stubb does not want to be profiled as a nurturer of relations with the East or “any kind of Russia whisperer”.
Wass considered this a departure from the current president Sauli Niinistön to the line at the beginning of the season. Of course, Niinistök has also changed its line. There are currently no political connections between Finland and Russia. The reason is Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.
Stubbs won the second round of the presidential election quite narrowly. He received 51.6 percent of the votes and was a counter-candidate Pekka Haavisto (green) 48.4 percent.
Saari and Wass thought the result was expected, but the difference between the candidates was surprisingly small. However, Wass believes that a strong division does not indicate a deeper division in society.
“Even though the result was tight, it did not signal such a deep, ideological divide, because the candidates were so close to each other,” said Wass.
According to Wass, the decisive factor may have been that Stubb was the coalition’s candidate. Coalition voters are typically strongly behind their own candidate. In addition, Stubb managed to talk to center-right voters, Wass estimated.
How will it be difficult for Stubb to unite the people after this? Saari believes that Stubb can quite easily win over Haavisto’s supporters.
“They are pretty much from the same world of values and both such liberal city dwellers.”
On the other hand, Saari believes that it will be more difficult for Stubb to win over conservatives, possibly those living in rural areas, Jussi Halla-ahoa (ps) citizens who voted.
“Then we will test how much Stubb is able to unite the people,” said Saari.
On the other hand, the elections have been considered good-natured, and not exactly divisive. Wass noted that this unity may be short-lived.
The European elections are coming, and in them “the second round will start”, Wass estimated. He believes that, for example, basic Finns have strong, distinctive campaign leaders in elections.