Åland – a scenic and autonomous archipelago part of Finland – has marked a centenary since a conflict with Sweden was avoided by singing Åland’s non-fortification and neutralization convention and a lasting peace was ensured, This is reported by the Finnish public service company YLE.
Located in the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden, Åland has Swedish as its official language and is popular with Baltic fishing enthusiasts.
October 20 was the centenary of the signing of the treaty on the demilitarization and neutralization of Åland by the member states of the then League of Nations, where Finland would also guarantee the Swedish language tradition, the island’s local culture and its system of self-government. The issue of archipelago autonomy was close to triggering an open conflict between Finland and Sweden more than a hundred years ago, as Finnish President Sauli Niinistö quoted in his speech.
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«The Åland Convention is a stabilizing force for peace on Åland. It is not a historical relic, but a living being and a much-needed agreement for the Baltic Sea region, stated Niinistö, who could not visit the islands due to bad weather, but instead gave his speech virtually, reports YLE. “I am pleased to note that an issue that was once in danger of creating conflict has been successfully resolved in a way that is beneficial to all.”