Looking To Tame A Big Neighbor...And Clean Up A Mess, As Well

From its hilltop perch in central Helsinki, a Russian Orthodox church looms over the gleaming, cream-colored Presidential Palace. It's a reminder of the days when the Grand Duchy of Finland was a jewel in the Russian crown. With fewer than 100 years of self-rule behind them and the cold war barely over, the Finns hardly need such reminders. But instead of trying to keep plenty of distance between themselves and their neighbor, the Finns want to bring Russia into Europe. And they think natural gas is the way to do it. "It's not very easy to go to individual countries and say, `This is in everyone's interest,"' says Peter Stenlund, a Finish Foreign Ministry official. "But it has been possible with nuclear issues, and we think it's possible with other energy issues as well."

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