By Xinhua, originally published on People’sDailyOnline.
A recent survey showed that 61 percent of the respondents opposed the transportation of NATO’s nuclear weapons across Finland, and 77 percent would reject the deployment of such weapons in the country.
HELSINKI, July 6 (Xinhua) — A significant number of respondents to a recent survey in Finland said they would oppose the storage or transportation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) nuclear weapons in or across their country, according to a report published Thursday by researchers from three Finnish universities.
The report, drafted by the University of Helsinki, the University of Turku and Abo Akademi University, examined the expectations of Finns regarding their NATO membership based on survey data collected in June this year. A total of 2,877 respondents between the ages of 15 and 79 participated in the survey.
Delegates attend a ceremony for Finland’s accession to NATO at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)
Hanna Wass, one of the authors of the report and a researcher at the University of Helsinki, told national broadcaster Yle that there is a limit to the Finnish public’s support for NATO.
Most Finns do not support the transportation or stationing of nuclear weapons in their country, she said.
The report found that the Finnish public’s attitudes toward nuclear weapons are overwhelmingly critical. It said that 61 percent of the respondents opposed the transportation of NATO’s nuclear weapons across Finland, and an even higher percentage — 77 percent — would reject the deployment of such weapons in the country.
People take part in a protest against Sweden hosting a large international military exercise and the country striving to become a member of NATO in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 22, 2023. (Photo by Patrick Ekstrand/Xinhua)
The authors of the report suggest that these attitudes likely stem from Finland’s emphasis on nuclear disarmament in its defense policy, and from the recognition that allowing nuclear weapons would require changes to current legislation.
The report also highlights the division among citizens regarding the establishment of a permanent NATO base and the deployment of non-Finnish NATO troops on Finnish soil. According to the survey, 46 percent of respondents would welcome such troops, while 43 percent would not.
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