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The Northern Front in the Technological Cold War: Finland and East-West Trade in the 1970s and 1980s
Publisher: Journals Gateway
Journal of Cold War Studies (2019) 21 (4): 150–174.
Published: 01 October 2019
AbstractView article PDF
This article shows how the United States and the Soviet Union competed technologically in northern Europe during the final decades of the Cold War. The article highlights the U.S. government's ability to enlist neutral countries, and even vulnerable neutral states like Finland, into Western technology embargoes against the Soviet Union. Yet, the Finnish case also demonstrates that determined small countries and their companies were not simply helpless actors and could protect their political and commercial interests. Finland exported high-technology goods such as electronics and telecommunications equipment to the Soviet Union, even though Finland itself was dependent on technology flows from the United States. In fact, the Finns managed to get the best of both worlds: their country was an important player in East-West trade, but at the same time it was able to modernize its economy and strengthen trading links with the U.S.-led Western alliance.