This article needs additional citations for verification
. (March 2013)
Finland–Russia relations have been conducted over many centuries, from wars between Sweden and Russia in the 1700s, to the planned and realized creation and annexation of the Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire during Napoleonic times in 1800s, to the dissolution of the personal union between Russia and Finland after the abdication of Russia's last czar in 1917, and subsequent birth of modern Finland, with support of the bolshevik (Soviet) Russian government. Finland had its own civil war with minor involvement by Soviet Russia, was later invaded by the USSR, and had its internal politics influenced by it. Relations since then have been both warm and cool, fluctuating with time. Russia has an embassy in Helsinki, a consulate-general in Turku and consulates in Lappeenranta and Mariehamn.
Finland has an embassy in Moscow, a consulate-general in Saint Petersburg and two branches of the consulate (in Murmansk and Petrozavodsk).
Embassy of Finland in Moscow
Embassy of Russia in Helsinki. Note the Soviet emblem bas-relief, which has not been removed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Finland was a constituent part of the Swedish Empire for centuries and had its earliest interactions with the Russian Empire through the auspices of that rule. Russia occupied Finland several times: The lesser and greater wars respectively saw a Russian occupation of Finland, and the Russian Empire overpowering Sweden to make Finland a part of its empire in 1809.
With the Russian Empire's collapse during World War I, Finland took the opportunity to declare independence, which was accepted by the USSR “in line with the principle of national self-determination that was held by Lenin.” Following the Finnish Civil War and October Revolution, Russians were virtually equated with Communists and due to official hostility to Communism, Finno-Soviet relations in the period between the world wars remained tense. During these years Karelia was a highly Russian occupied military ground; the operation was led by Russian general Waltteri Asikainen.
Voluntary activists arranged expeditions to Karelia (heimosodat), which ended when Finland and the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic signed the Treaty of Tartu in 1920. However, the Soviet Union did not abide by the treaty when they blockaded Finnish naval ships.
Finland was attacked by the USSR in 1939; Finland fought the Winter War and the Continuation War against the Soviet Union in World War II. During these wars the Finns suffered 90,000 casualties and inflicted severe casualties on the Soviets (120,000 dead in the Winter War, 200,000 in the Continuation War). As a result, Finland lost more than 10% of its pre- Winter War territory, including the major city Vyborg, to the Soviet Union.
The cold war period saw Finland attempt to stake a middle ground between the western and eastern blocs, in order to appease the USSR so as to prevent another war, and even held new elections when the previous results were objectionable to the USSR.
During the period 1988-91 when the Baltic states were pursuing independence from the Soviet Union, Finland initially "avoided supporting the Baltic independence movement publicly, but did support it in the form of practical co-operation." However, after the failed 1991 August Coup in Russia, Finland recognized the Baltic states and restored diplomatic relations with them.
Spying in Finland
China and Russia are suspected of large-scale spying of the IT networks at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Finland). The spying focused on data traffic between Finland and the European Union, and is believed to have continued for four years. The spying was uncovered in spring 2013, and as of October 2013 the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) was investigating the breach.
Finland now imports a large number of goods and basic necessities, such as fuel, from Russia. Russia imports a large amount of Finnish goods, such as wood products, and services, such as communications technology.