Finnish public’s post-election stand on Russian sanctions

The agrarian paper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus also features results of a survey, this time on the Finnish public’s post-election stand on Russian sanctions.

Over 40 percent of the respondents said they would be in favour of ending EU sanctions against Russia if the country would do the same. Some 27 percent of respondents said they opposed this.

Among people who indicated they had voted for the Centre Party or the Finns Party in the April general elections, the percentage of respondents that said they would be in favour of dropping the sanctions against Russia grew to over 50 percent.

Finnish Institute of International Affairs director Teija Tiilikainen says Russian activities in Ukraine that triggered the sanctions are probably starting to fade in people’s minds.

“The sanctions have been in force for so long that the original reason they were enacted can start to become a little blurry. Or perhaps there is a feeling that they have not been effective,” she tells the paper.

MT writes that a similar survey of Finnish farmers in 2014 found comparative results. Back when the sanctions were new, some 50 percent felt that Finland should be exempted from the EU sanctions, due to its extensive trade relationships with its Eastern neighbour.