Russian-speakers living permanently in Finland have a much more negative attitude towards Finland’s NATO membership than the rest of the population. However, many believe that building positive relations with Russia is still possible despite NATO membership.
Taloustuktimus interviewed 501 Russian-speaking people living permanently in Finland on behalf of Yle.
Russians living in Finland had the most negative attitude towards membership, with 59 per cent opposing Finland’s accession to the Defense League. 55 per cent of dual citizens opposed the union and 52 per cent of Russian-speaking Finnish citizens.
These attitudes are clearly more negative than the rest of the population in Finland. Public support for the military rally rose rapidly this year to 76 percent at the beginning of May.
Continue to trust the future relationship
Russian-speakers living permanently in Finland still believe that good relations with Russia can be built and maintained even after Finland’s accession to NATO. 44% of respondents believed that good relations with Russia could still be built, while only 30% said it would not be possible. 26% of respondents could not say whether this would be possible or not.
Respondents were also asked whether they felt that the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO was a threat to Russia’s security. At least a quarter of respondents considered it a threat, but about half disagreed and less than a quarter could not express their views.
At the end of 2020, 84,000 Russian-speaking people lived in Finland as their mother tongue. According to Statistics Finland, there were more than 432,800 foreign speakers in their mother tongue, of which Russian was the most common.
The interviews were conducted by telephone from April 25 to May 23. during which Finland’s NATO application was formalized. The margin of error for the study was about four percentage points.
Source: The Nordic Page