DISINFO: Finns, Swedes unlikely to support NATO membership because well-being will decline
Most Finns and Swedes are unlikely to support NATO membership. Military expenditure is expected to rise while social spending is expected to be slashed. Well-being will decline.
This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets about NATO enlargement in the context of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
In reality, the number of supporters of NATO membership in Finland grew from 53 per cent in February 2022 to 62 per cent in March 2022 and 76 per cent in May 2022. Before the Russian war of invasion against Ukraine, a majority of Finns had long opposed membership. As for Sweden, 57 per cent of Swedes favoured NATO membership in late April 2022 compared to 51 per cent in March 2022. It is true that military expenditure is expected to rise after Finland and Sweden join NATO, but it will not affect social spending because the rise in military expenditure is insignificant compared to these nations’ GDP. In addition, the wider effects of having a well protected and secured country stabilises and stimulate the investment climate which in turn promote economic development for the entire society.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said earlier in May that the country should apply to join NATO “without delay.” In Sweden, the governing Social Democratic Party also said it backed joining NATO. Nonetheless, their future membership of NATO does not pose a threat to Russia. Both countries have been neutral for decades, but the current war in Ukraine made them opt for NATO membership to enhance their security.
Read more disinformation cases claiming that NATO is posing a threat to Russia.