Mediation and Intervention in the Back of Beyond: Small States in the Eastern Baltic and France’s Strategic Calculations, 1936–1940
I wrote that France was not interested in anything else than the preservation in the future of friendly relations between Finland and Russia. Apart from that, France did not care about Baltic questions and felt the utmost sympathy towards Finland.1
This statement by Finnish diplomat Carl Enckell conveys the essential characteristics of France’s relations with the Eastern Baltic during the interwar period: a lack of concrete involvement in Baltic issues; a tendency to consider the newly independent small states of the region in terms of wider issues, and finally, if these global concerns largely dominated French decisions, the role of bilateral relations in shaping concrete reactions to developments in the Eastern Baltic.
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