Swedes support for NATO membership increases: poll

The rise in support for Sweden to join NATO comes amid the Ukraine crisis and an alleged foreign submarine activity in Swedish waters.

Swedes support for NATO membership increases: poll
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
Support among Swedes for NATO membership has increased since April 2014, an opinion poll revealed Friday.

According to a poll by a Swedish research company, Ipsos, support in joining the alliance among Swedes rose from 28 percent in April 2014 to 33 percent in December the same year.

The figures indicate a five percent rise in support for NATO-membership among poll respondents.

The respondents, consisting of 1,436 people, answered the poll questions between Dec.8 and15 in 2014.

Sweden, a Scandinavian country, has traditionally been neutral in its foreign policy. However, the rise in support in Sweden to join NATO comes amid the Ukraine crisis. Also, Swedish military officials on Nov.14 said a foreign submarine was illegally operating inside Swedish territorial waters. Widespread media coverage alleged a Russian submarine could have been in waters off the Stockholm archipelago since October 2014.

In the wake of the allegations, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven had raised the prospect of taxpayers increasing military spending, which currently accounted for one percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product, a modest ratio of national income compared to its European neighbors.

Although 47 percent of respondents in the latest poll were against Sweden joining NATO, it was a drop since the April poll when the share was 56 percent.

''Men are significantly more positive towards NATO membership than women; 41 percent of men think that Sweden should join as compared to 25 percent among women,'' the poll report said.

 

Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2015, 16:15
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