Every year the Finnish Advisory Board of Defence Information conducts a survey of the public opinion on defense related issues. Pauli Järvenpää from ICDS has found a few interesting results:
[M]ore and more Finns seem to believe in common defense through the country’s EU membership. This year, as many as 70 per cent of those polled supported that position. In 2016 this opinion was held by only 62 per cent of the polled. In 2015, just 56 per cent agreed with that claim. In the same vein, defense cooperation with the Nordic countries, Sweden in particular, gets a strong support from the Finns.
Support of NATO membership is way down to 22 percent. Interesting that there is so big difference.
[I]n 2017 Finns hold a more positive opinion of Russia than in previous years. This year, just 37 per cent of the polled considered the Russian influence in world affairs as a negative development, while in the previous year that figure was as high as 50 per cent. Additionally, while in 2016 just 6 per cent of the Finns considered Russia as having a positive influence in the world, in 2017 that figure has climbed to 14 per cent. It is interesting that this change of opinion is happening against the political and military background of Russia continuing to occupy Crimea, to foment aggression in Ukraine, and to meddle in other countries’ national elections.