Finnish military officers favour NATO entry - paper
HELSINKI (Reuters) - Almost two-thirds of Finnish military officers believe the country should join NATO, and even more think the Russian military threat has grown in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, a poll showed on Saturday.
The crisis has brought relations between Russia and the West to their lowest ebb since the Cold War, and is increasingly turning into a military stand-off.
Of the polled officers, 66 percent favoured NATO entry, 10 percent preferred a defence alliance with Sweden and one quarter thought it would be best to remain outside any alliance.
About three quarters of respondents the Ukraine crisis had made them view NATO membership more positively, and slightly more said the Russian military threat against Finland had increased.
Some 2,000 of the 6,000 members of the Officers' Union were part of the survey, conducted by the union and daily Helsingin Sanomat last week.
Support for NATO membership remains low among the general population, with recent polls showing only about one in five favouring entry.
Separately, Helsingin Sanomat quoted the Finnish defence minister as saying that could change.
"Things will change the day when the leadership says that we should join the NATO, that is very obvious," Carl Haglund said at a conference in Tallinn.
(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; editing by Andrew Roche)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- India approves $2.6 bln mounted gun purchase - official
- Computer spying malware uncovered with 'stealth' features - Symantec
- Suicide bomber kills 45 at volleyball match in Afghanistan
- Pope declares sainthood of two Indians, four Italians
- Iran, powers set to miss nuclear talks deadline, seek extension
U.S. in Afghanistan
President Barack Obama has approved plans to give U.S. military commanders a wider role to fight the Taliban alongside Afghan forces after the current mission ends next month, a senior administration official said. Full Article
PREVIEW - Prospects rise for a 2015 U.N. climate deal, but likely to be weak. Full Article