On 10 August 1946, the Finnish Industrial Exhibition opened in Moscow inside the winter tennis court of the Dinamo Stadium. An official delegation headed by the Finnish Minister of Trade and Industry Uuno Takki arrived for the opening on the eve of the exhibition. A total of 123 stalls showcased the products of Finland’s industrial enterprise.

In preparation for the exhibition, the issue of establishing a Finnish-Soviet (later, Finnish-Russian) Chamber of Commerce at the behest of Finnish businessmen and the Finland-Soviet Union Trade and Industry Commission had, in fact, been settled.

The history of relations between the Soviet Union and Finland is full of drama. By 1946, Finland had ceded to the Soviet Union one-fifth of its industry, 11 percent of its farmland and 12 percent of its population. By gaining sovereignty, it paid compensation for the damage inflicted on Soviet citizens during the Finnish occupation, renounced its rights to Karelia and ceded Pechenga (Petsamo Province) in Murmansk Oblast.

In 1948, Finland signed a 'Treaty of Cooperation and Mutual Assistance', whereby it would observe neutrality and recognise the special strategic interests of the Soviet Union. In return, Finland was to retain its capitalist system, its market economy and a degree of freedom of speech. A special term, 'Finlandisation', was even coined to describe submission to the policies of a larger neighbouring country while nominally retaining sovereignty. Both the USSR and the capitalist countries would keep Finland out of technologies potentially used for military purposes.

However, in doing so, Finland had much to gain: Soviet orders for the construction of ships and the export of manufactured goods to the USSR brought prosperity and stability. The scale of Finland's supply of consumer goods to the USSR was unprecedented for western countries.


The newspaper “Pravda”, No. 190 (10272) from 11 August 1946