Kekkonen, Urho (1900–1986)

Urho Kaleva Kekkonen was a Finnish statesman, prime minister, and long-term Finnish president (1956–1982). Together with his predecessor Juho Kusti Paasikivi, architect of the Finnish foreign policy during the Cold War, Kekkonen maintained a strong stance of neutrality for Finland which facilitated its trade and economic relations with other countries. In political communication, Kekkonen's name is combined with the concepts of détente (relaxation of tensions between East and West), Finlandization (in German Finnlandisierung, in Finnish suomettuminen), and self-censorship.

Kekkonen in his early years was a nationalist with an aim to unify the country. Having been left outside the government in the continuation war against Russia (1941–1944), Kekkonen repositioned himself into the Peace Opposition, craving disengagement from the war fought at the side of Germany. He gradually ...

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