Finland joining NATO after nearly 75 years of maintaining an apolitical stance has raised concerns globally. Mostly because this could have significant implications for the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Russia plans to strengthen its defenses along its 1,300 km border with Finland following the announcement. There are also speculations about other possible political repercussions.
Thus, Real Research conducted a survey on Finland’s strategic alliance with NATO. The survey aimed to explore the reasons behind Finland’s decision to join NATO, the possible effects of this alliance, possible risks, etc. Here are the results of the survey.
- 51.17% feel Finland’s alliance will change the war in favor of Russia
- 24.05% believe Finland joining NATO was intended to improve the country’s security
- Putin sees NATO expansion as a direct security threat and considers it a provocation, say 38.2%
The survey begins with a poll on whether respondents are aware of Finland joining NATO; 53.26% are aware, while 34.74% are only somewhat aware. 12% seem to be completely unaware.
Finland’s New Strategic Alliance–Likely Reasons
Next, the survey explores respondents’ opinions on why Finland proceeded with the NATO alliance. 24.05% feel it was to improve the country’s security, while 19.73% reckon it was to assure itself of security under NATO’s Article 5.
Moreover, 19.23% felt the move was to strengthen its defense capability and resilience.
Why Did Finland Join NATO, Abandoning its Political Neutrality?
Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland were known for their apolitical stances in any regional tensions. Finland, specifically, has maintained its neutrality for nearly 75 years. The Russia-Ukraine war, however, changed that. Finland has since joined NATO, likely fearing for its safety.
But what are the likely reasons that prompted Finland to join NATO, abandoning its political neutrality after 75 years?
According to 22.36% of respondents, Finland likely joined NATO due to its vulnerability after Putin’s actions destabilized Northern Europe. Some 19.78% felt that Finland’s invasion by Russia in 1939 has strong recollections of Ukraine currently.
Moreover, 19.23% believe Finland felt threatened by Russia allegedly violating Finland’s airspace. Lastly, 15.83% reckon that they feel outnumbered by the Russian army.
78.85% Vote That Finland Joining NATO Would Affect the Russia-Ukraine War
One of the biggest concerns about Finland joining NATO was its effect on the Russia-Ukraine war. Respondents were polled on the same, and a combined 75.85% feel the Russia-Ukraine war will likely be affected; 51.17% felt the war would change in favor of Russia, whereas, 27.68% feel it would change in favor of Ukraine.
Some 8.16% responded to say that the war will not be affected.
As such, Russia has reportedly warned about bolstering forces near Finland if NATO sends any additional troops or equipment. When asked about the same, 18.78% feel the warning was rather drastic, while others felt it was unnecessary (18.01%), hypocritical (14.91%), and irrational (14.01%). Only 14.53% felt the warning was justified.
Possible Risks of Finland’s Strategic Alliance With NATO
Lastly, the survey concluded that the possible risks of Finland joining NATO is that Russian President Vladimir Putin may perceive it as a direct security threat and consider it a provocation. This was followed by risks such as Moscow’s attempts to deploy nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad (32.19%), an escalation of war (15.04%), and a potential cyber-attack from Russia (3.46%).
Only 1.64% report having no risks involved.
Overall, the survey revealed that Finland joining NATO had more to do with its safety and defense concerns. Furthermore, it was revealed that the move was risky, and could directly threaten Putin and possibly escalate tensions further. However, the survey also underlined that if the move were to affect the Russia-Ukraine war, it would change it in favor of Russia rather than Ukraine. It remains to be seen what other effects will result, however.
|Survey Title||Public Opinion on Finland’s Strategic Alliance with NATO|
|Duration||April 08 – April 15, 2023|
|Number of Participants||10,000|
|Demographics||Males and females, aged 21 to 99|
|Participating Countries||Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia,… Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.|
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