Hybrid influence expert on Russia’s dire border intentions: “That’s when”

In an interview with Iltalehti, Jukka Savolainen, Network Director of the Hybrid Expertise Center, assesses Wednesday’s border chaos and says what he thinks can be learned from it.

Jukka Savolainen, Network Director, Hybrid Expertise Center. Crete Karwala

On Wednesday, the media reported on the Russian Defense Ministry’s proposal to unilaterally change the maritime boundaries between Finland and Lithuania in the Baltic Sea. However, later in the day, the proposal disappeared from the ministry’s website.

Iltalehti caught up with the Network Director of the Center of Competence for Combating Hybrid Threats in Europe. Jukka Savolainen To comment on the events of the day.

What is it about?

Savolainen posits that checking the location of sea boundaries may have been a regular objective. However, Savolainen points out that he does not see the coordinates subject to change.

– The most likely possibility is that making small changes like this is a small administrative idea, which is actually the UN. According to Savolainen, Russia has the right to build them in accordance with the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

– Other zones of the sea area are minor corrections to the base calculated later. The geology actually changes as the land rises and new rocks rise above the water, which changes the bedrock, Savolainen continues.

According to Savolainen, another possibility could be that the background of the proposal was some kind of attempt to open negotiations with the West.

– If there was any political twist behind this, these would have led to different negotiations with these neighboring countries, which would have led to all sorts of things. [Venäjälle] Desired negotiation touch and turn, says Savolinen.

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“The Terrible Macca”

According to Savolainen, Wednesday’s events may have received more media attention.

– Now if this is the basic scenario, the coverage has gotten so out of hand that the first news is that Russia is moving Finland’s borders, Savolainen says.

An important characteristic of a sovereign state is territorial integrity. For example, according to the Finnish constitution, the territory of Finland is indivisible, and the borders of the kingdom cannot be changed without the consent of the parliament.

– If it was this small adjustment, this reaction was very wild. In my opinion, you can honestly say that this is a very funny story, and then such a terrible mecca started here, Savolainen says that Russia removed the page where the news was, where some bureaucrats prepared such a story.

What can be learned?

Savolinen assesses that the most important lesson from what happened is to approach things calmly and based on facts. According to him, the Finnish tax first finds out what it is about and reacts with the necessary means.

– Finns don’t really need to know about this, but in order to have a calm attitude and find out the facts. It wasn’t done too badly in one evening, but there aren’t many experts to comment on such matters too quickly, Savolainen reflects.

Regarding a possible post-examination of the border issue, Savolainen’s view is unequivocal:

– Savolainen says that if Russia says they don’t have a plan, it’s a draft, that’s it.

– This reflects the current situation between Russia and its neighbors. The [Venäjää] Immediately suspect a big and evil plan. It remains so, says Savolainen, which is completely understandable after all the propaganda and war.

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