Urho Kekkonen

Sep 3, 1900 - Aug 31, 1986

Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, often referred to by his initials UKK, was a Finnish politician who served as the eighth and longest-serving President of Finland from 1956 until 1982. He was the third and most recent president from the Agrarian League/Center Party. As head of state for nearly 26 years, he dominated Finnish politics, held a large amount of power, won his later elections with little opposition and has often been classified as an autocrat. Nevertheless, he remains a respected figure.
As president, Kekkonen continued the "active neutrality" policy of his predecessor President Juho Kusti Paasikivi, a doctrine that came to be known as the "Paasikivi–Kekkonen line", under which Finland retained its independence while maintaining good relations and extensive trade with members of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Critical commentators referred to this policy of appeasement pejoratively as Finlandization. He hosted the European Conference on Security and Co-operation in Helsinki in 1975 and was considered a potential candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize that year.
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