3 December 1999
Military non-alignment backed by majority
A clear majority of Finns still support military non-alignment. According to a new survey, reported by Helsingin Sanomat (3 December 1999), 68 per cent of people questioned opposed military alignment. Only one in five Finns wants the country to join a military alliance.
Joining a military alliance was more popular among men than women. Younger people also seem to have a more favourable attitude towards giving up non-alignment. Of people under 24 years, 29 per cent support joining a military alliance whereas among citizens over 50 the support for non-aligment was 74 per cent.
During the Kosovo crisis the support for military non-alignment was even higher, 74 per cent. This reflected unwillingness to get involved in similar conflicts. The new survey, however, seems to reveal a greater readiness to participate in crisis management. This reflects perhaps Finlands long tradition of participation in peace keeping operations.
Of those who support military alignment, 49 per cent would choose NATO. Every sixth citizen would like to see military alignment with the countrys similarly non-aligned neighbour, Sweden. Support for military co-operation with Russia has dropped from two per cent to one per cent.
In earlier surveys most people have expressed the belief that Finland will eventually join NATO. Now only a half of Finns seems to believe this to be the case.
According to the latest survey, a clear majority believes in armed resistance against foreign aggression, even if the outcome seemed uncertain.
- EU preferred to NATO on crisis management (30 November 1999)
- Finland urged to support UN (19 October 1999)
- Defence plans alarm small EU countries (16 October 1999)
- Aftermath of Kosovo: Europe takes military route to security (October 1999)
- Can the Nordic region show the way for Kosovo? (October 1999)
- Power of big EU countries raises questions (October 1999)
- Ex-president criticises Wests policies in Yugoslavia (31 August 1999)
- Finland accused of toeing NATO line in nuclear disarmament (6 August 1999)
- Non-aligned countries face problems with EU defence (13 July 1999)
- War in Yugoslavia: Non-aligned countries watch warily as NATO sidelines UN (May 1999)
- Finland agonises over Kosovo by Tuomas Forsberg (May 1999)
- Intellectuals divided by events in Yugoslavia (27 April 1999)
- Balkans crisis triggers speculations about stability in the Baltic (23 April 1999)
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