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The security crisis in Ukraine induced by Russia has helped overcome the domestic legitimacy crisis of President Vladimir Putin and his regime. The annexation of Crimea and the Donbass war on the one hand and, on the other, anti-Western confrontational rhetoric have boosted the ratings of the Russian ruling circles, giving Vladimir Putin carte blanche in domestic and foreign politics. It is in the Kremlin’s vital interest to preserve the high level of public support, but given the economic decline and no modernisation potential, this will require keeping the propaganda machine running and fueling imperial pride along with anti-Western and revanchist moods.
Looking at the past 23 years of Russian history, it would be difficult to miss the ongoing dispute over a key choice facing the state: should the diplomacy of force be continued or should emphasis be on the soft power of diplomacy capable of attracting not only the former Soviet Union countries, but also other allies? In recent years, however, especially since the conflict in Georgia, the role of diplomacy of force has been growing in Russia. The reform of the armed forces launched in 2009 accompanied by a new military doctrine and plans for rearming the army came as a signal that Russia was planning to enhance its security policy. These changes are in harmony with the general tendency to return to the imperial tradition and can be capitalised upon to mobilise Russian society, focusing its efforts (including financial) around the army. In consequence, military power has become one of the main instruments for achieving the goals of domestic and international policy.
Export controls for dual-use items are an important constituent element of both the security policies of state exporters and WMD non-proliferation efforts. Dual-use goods and technologies can be used for both civil and military purposes, which requires careful oversight over their export to countries that are considered unfriendly or have ambiguous foreign policy attitudes. By their very nature, dual-use items may be used both to further legitimate ends, like promoting technological development and strengthening economic ties, and to aid in unwarranted acts. State exporters are faced with the responsibility of balancing the security objectives pertaining to exports of dual-use items with the competitiveness of local economies. The paper discusses the EU export control regime and EU membership in international export control groups. In doing so, comparative and normative research methods are chosen to analyze existing literature on Council Regulation 428/2009 and other international export control groups, including the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group (AG) and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). The paper will conclude by identifying shortcomings and addressing possible amendments to the regulation.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, Finland quickly applied for NATO membership. This step is not necessarily that drastic should Finland's security policy development in the long term be examined with one's focus set on a gradually-developed defence policy. It represents an important continuity in security policy, but also played a central role in advancing Finland's steps to becoming NATO members. On the basis of different studies and accounts, the following points seem to be critical in constructing a preliminary narrative about Finland's road to the Alliance. After the Second World War, Finland's western relations became dependent on its bilateral relations with the Soviet Union. Finland was aware that it could not expect any support from the West as regards its security. Despite a security policy based on recognising facts, and the FCMA Treaty with the Soviet Union, the eastern neighbour was seen as the main, and, later on, the only military threat on the basis of history and Finland's vulnerable geopolitical position. The threat, however, was concealed by so-called “doubletalk” in security policy discourse until the 2010s. In this context, state defence was developed to be an independent and modern territorial defence, ultimately there to defend against a large-scale invasion. Finland's defence enjoyed high legitimacy and confidence in society, especially from the 1970s. Security policy was raised above normal politics to be a kind of super-politics with a strong political consensus. When the Cold War ended and Finland joined the European Union, defence policy and the defence establishment got a leading role in working an approaching NATO. Finland's opportunities to conduct stabilisation policy in its close neighbourhood were seen as being limited, especially after Russia adopted a self-asserting foreign and security policy towards the West after 2007. At the same time, the subsequently increased cooperation, networking, and integration stimulated perceptions about western defence dependence. This increased emphasis on defence actually turned people’s attention to the extra security that NATO membership might provide. Applying for NATO, however, required the shock of a Russian invasion of Ukraine before the Finnish public was ready to see the risks of NATO membership as being less than that of its benefits.
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