Survey: Majority of Finns consider Russia a significant military threat

The number of people who see Russia as a military threat has increased significantly since a year ago. (Photo: Grigory Vorobjov / Yle)

Eighty-four percent of Finns consider Russia to be a significant military threat, according to a recent values and attitudes survey from the Finnish Business Policy and Forum (Eva).

The proportion of people who considered Russia a threat increased by 25 percentage points since a similar survey was carried out last year.

Meanwhile, just six percent of respondents said they think that Russia does not pose a major military threat.

Eva’s survey was carried out in early March and the results are based on the answers of more than 2,000 people.

Only about a fifth of respondents considered Russia to be part of the European cultural sphere, while 60 percent answered they did not consider Russia part of this sphere.

However, 58 percent of survey respondents considered Russian citizens to be pleasant people. Around 20 percent disagreed with this statement, and the remaining respondents found it difficult to say what they thought about Russian citizens.

Russian unreliability rises

Eva’s survey also showed that more people in Finland find Russia to be untrustworthy, with 74 percent considering Russia to be an unreliable contract partner, an increase of 34 percentage points from last year.

“Finns’ views on Russia are very gloomy. They also explain why a clear majority of Finns have turned to Nato membership. However, Finns believe that Russia’s problem is not its people, but the country’s leadership,” Eva’s research manager Ilkka Haavisto said in a statement.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Arctic Security: Will Canada’s federal budget deliver for NORAD?, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: NATO chief: Decision on Finland’s membership can be quick, Yle News

Norway: Ukrainian president warns Norway against Russian Arctic militarization, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: New sanctions deal fatal blow to Russia’s Arctic LNG, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden takes part in Arctic military manoeuvres with NATO countries, Radio Sweden

United States: Arctic nations say they’re ramping up military spending as they meet with U.S. Senators, Alaska Public Media

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