In parallel with large-scale military exercises “West” and the Swedish defensive exercises “Aurora 17” 30 activists from Russia and Sweden to organize a camp on the Aland Islands. According to the initiator of Sunvisson Pelle (Pelle Sunvisson), the goal is to give the peaceful activists with an opportunity to be heard. Former Ambassador of Finland in Moscow, however, calls the camp a propaganda operation of the Russian.
“”Åland-17″ — the first peaceful exercises of this kind. In the same way as military exercises, which were held for centuries, receiving almost unlimited funding, the first exercises in the world to combine reality with fiction”.
So advertised the Swedish-Russian camp, which will be held the second weekend of September camping in the gregers … .. not far from Mariehamn.
Doctrines will pass on military maneuvers, the participants will practice the development of events, starting with a relatively calm situation, as, for example, about ten years ago, which gradually turns into open war. “As the situation is heating up, participants are faced with situations experiencing their willingness to protect the world. The purpose is to better examine strong and weak points of the peace movement, to tie, to debug and to strengthen the contacts that are crucial to the world and to practice the peaceful teachings as a tool for maintaining a durable peace,” write the organizers on his page on the Internet. At the time of the “åland-17” coincides with two large-scale military exercise — “Aurora 17” in southern Sweden and “West” in Western Russia.
Himanen: the most naive
Former Ambassador of Finland in Moscow Hannu Himanen (Himanen Hannu) reacted to the idea of the camp is very critical.
“It is noteworthy that the Aland Islands became the place of organization of the Russian-Swedish camp of this kind. I don’t want to say that the Swedish activists can be called a Pro. But extremely naive to think that it is possible to promote peace by organizing the Aland camp with the Swedish and Russian participants,” said Hannu Himanen newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet.
Even more dubious proposition, according to Himanen camp from Mariehamn to do what he coincides with the “Aurora-17” and “West”.
According to the description of the organizers, åland Islands not chosen by chance: “Choice, choice of time, has its symbolic meaning. The åland Islands were demilitarized by the Treaty concluded between Russia and Sweden over 150 years ago. This Treaty has since been respected and confirmed new agreements”.
“Sounds like the Russian rhetoric”
“The fact that in the current situation it was decided to organize such an event that is Aland Islands, and concerns of demilitarization, looks very Russian. Very similar to the Russian manner of criticism and the legitimate needs of Sweden and other Scandinavian countries in defense capabilities,” Himanen says.
The initiator happened to be in Helsinki
Newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet contacted the pellet with Sunvisson, former Chairman of the Stockholm branch of the “Swedish in the world” (Fred Svenska — Swedish organization for the struggle for peace) and the main driving force of the project of the peace camp. Quite by chance Sunvisson as time was passing in Helsinki, going on vacation, first for a month in Russia, on the shores of lake Baikal, and then to Ukraine.
HBL has set up a meeting with Sunvisson that train from Turku arrived in Helsinki Monday afternoon.
“We organize teaching, not to silent voices for peace that are now so important. The more aggressive the situation, the harder it becomes to defend the world. You need to be prepared to keep his mouth shut,” says Sunvisson to the question about the motives of the HBL.
Of the 30 members of the camp, a dozen dozen Swedes and Russians have already confirmed their participation.
“As soldiers during military exercises, all fulfil their real role: for example, journalists, members of Parliament or environmental activists”.
According to Sunvisson, to invite the Swedish participants was much easier than Russian.
“In Sweden it is easy to invite people, but to cooperate with Russian organizations hard, as they are under a lot of pressure, their klassificeret as foreign agents if they work with foreigners. Therefore, we chose to invite individuals and not organizations.”
Sunvisson told that the Swedish members of Parliament from the Green Party, Annika Lillemets, Walter and Carl of Mutt Slicer (Annika Lillemets, Valter Mutt, Carl Schlyter), have already agreed to participate in the event. The organizers are also trying to attract members of the Russian Duma, in the case if you can find those who believe in disarmament.
Hufvudstadsbladet: You will be invited to the camp of politicians who represent Putin’s “United Russia”?
Pelle Sunvisson: If there is some representative of the Russian Duma, which is the same as we have, an opinion on disarmament, he or she will certainly welcome. After all, we have the list of participants already have several Swedish members of Parliament from the party of government.
Activists are being labeled “Putin’s agents”
Sunvisson says that the camp will work with several different scenarios, many of which are copied from the military exercises “Aurora 17”, which will be held in parallel.
“We believe a number of scenarios that we as the peace movement must be ready. The more acute the situation in the Baltic sea, the harder it is to shout to people calling for peace. Everyone in Sweden has dealt with the question of the world, sooner or later begin to call “agents of Putin”, — said Sunvisson.
He adds that on the Russian side, obviously, it’s even worse.
“There are those who stand against the growth of armaments or war in Ukraine, called foreign agents. The closer ties between our movements for peace, the stronger we can be in their role.”
— Why camp will be on the Aland Islands?
If we trained in Sweden, it would be Swedish exercises, and if Russia, then Russian. The åland Islands are situated in the middle between them, and, in addition, they have an interesting story that fits our theme, because åland is a demilitarized zone.
The fact that the idea of the camp sparked protests, including from Hannah Himanen like Sunvisson is not concerned.
I’m not a bit surprised. Attacks of this kind we are made constantly. I stopped paying attention to them. They have a completely different agenda, they do not want to engage in an open discussion.
— In the project description of the camp you write that a place is chosen considering the fact that åland was demilitarized according to the Treaty between Sweden and Russia 150 years ago, and say that the Treaty was respected and was confirmed by the new agreements. As you see it yourself? The attitude of Finland to Russia is difficult, because Russia wanted us to occupy.
Of course, we pay attention to criticism, because there was a time when åland was strengthened and there was military. If anyone wants to Balk at this aspect in the description of the åland Islands, this is not a problem. But this is not the main meaning. We consider åland as an example of something incredibly positive.
Most of the funds for the organization of the camp, 50 thousand, will ensure that the Stockholm branch of the “Swedish world”, where Sunvisson was previously Chairman. Still lacks 20 thousand crowns, which the organizers hope to obtain from other sources.
— As a result of this debate we have not published requests for donations in Russian, only Swedish. Asking for money in Russian would be highly controversial, but of course it is ridiculous because in Russia there may be people who would like to support this project. It’s unthinkable, because we immediately blame the fact that the money goes directly from Putin.
— Would you accept a donation if it is through intermediaries came from Putin?
— I will answer so: if we would accept money from the Swedish government if it offered them? Yeah, maybe. The problem is that we have to offer. That’s the main ambush.
Vissman Rickard (Rickard Wissman), head of communications exercises “Aurora 17”, says that the Swedish armed forces no definite opinion regarding the participation of foreigners in the camp.
“But for the Swedish armed forces it is important that no one knowingly disseminated false information about the doctrines. For example, information surfaced that “Aurora 17″ is the NATO exercises, which is not true. It’s a Swedish exercise aimed to increase the Swedish defenses”.