Around 75% oppose the idea that their country joins the US-led Military bloc
According to a survey, the overwhelming majority of Austrians don’t want their country joining NATO. In a survey conducted earlier this month by Austria’s Institute for Opinion Polls and Data Analysis and commissioned by the Austria Press Agency, 75% of respondents replied in the negative when asked if they thought their country should join NATO, with another 14% in favor of such a scenario.
Of the 1,000 Austrians surveyed, 52% said they believe Vienna’s neutrality provides sufficient protection against external threats, while 40% did not share that view. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed supported closer coordination between EU member countries in terms of security and defense policies.
When asked whether they thought Ukraine should be let into the European Union, 46% said they opposed Kiev’s accession, with another 38% indicating that they would support it.
After the withdrawal of allied troops from Austria in 1955, the Alpine nation declared itself permanent neutral. Austria, despite sharing borders and other NATO member countries with it, remained out of the NATO military alliance throughout the Cold War as well as the subsequent years.
Two other European nations which until recently claimed to be neutral – Sweden and Finland – recently announced plans to join NATO in light of Russia’s assault on Ukraine. Multiple polls show that public opinion has changed in the Nordic countries regarding joining NATO since February. The majority of Finns as well as Swedes are now strongly in support of the move.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated in April that if Stockholm or Helsinki decided to join, the allies would be theirs. “will be warmly welcomed, and I expect that process to go quickly.”While the NATO chief did not give a precise date, he offered protection for both countries during the process of accession, in case Russia attempted to intimidate them.
A few media outlets had reported that Finland may file its applications as early as May 12, according to some reports.
Russia warned Sweden, Finland, and the rest of Europe that they will need to counter any NATO membership.
Speaking in mid-April, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, warned Stockholm and Helsinki that joining the military bloc would imply “de facto surrender of a part of sovereignty in making decisions on defense, and also on foreign policy.”Russian officials also encouraged the countries to take into consideration the “consequences of such a move to our bilateral relations and the European security architecture, which currently is in a state of crisis.”
Dmitry Medvedev, the former Russian president and prime minister who is currently deputy chairman of the country’s Security Council, went further – suggesting that Moscow would deploy its nuclear weapons to the Baltic region should Finland and Sweden join NATO.