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Further proof that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is radically changing European views, a survey for Finland’s public broadcaster YLE has found that a majority of the country’s population supports NATO membership for the first time. times.

According to the poll, carried out last week over three days before and immediately after the attacks among a representative sample of nearly 1,400 people, 53% of Finns would now support Finland’s accession to NATO, with 28% opposed. and 19% unsure.

In 2017, the last time YLE Market Research asked the same question, only 19% of Finns were in favor of joining the alliance, while a survey for private broadcaster MTV in January showed only 30% supported membership.

Juho Rahkonen, the pollster’s research director, said the shift in public opinion was dramatic and historic. “Basically, the percentages of those in favor of NATO membership and those against have switched places,” Rahkonen said.

Russia’s invasion has also boosted support for NATO membership in Sweden, with a survey commissioned last week by Swedish public broadcaster SVT showing 41% for and 35% against. The Finnish poll suggested that if Sweden applied to join the alliance, support for Finnish membership would rise to 66%.

Finland, an autonomous part of the Russian Empire for more than a century until 1917, shares a 1,340 km (833 mile) border with Russia, the longest of any EU state. Although not members, Finland and Sweden cooperate closely with NATO, allowing, among other things, the troops of the alliance to exercise on their soil.

Helsinki and Stockholm have also significantly stepped up their bilateral defense cooperation in recent years and ensured close military cooperation with the United States, Britain and neighboring NATO member Norway.

Russia warned last week that if either country sought to join the alliance they would face “serious military-political consequences” from Moscow.

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