Aadne Aasland1; Marthe Myhre1;
1 NIBR, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
DiscussionWhile right until its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 Russia had a certain soft power appeal to segments of the population in Western Europe, much of this appeal has been lost with the country’s brutal military acts of violence and violations of international law. This by no means implies, however, that there is a consensus around what the responses to Russia’s war in Ukraine should be. This is also the case in Norway, a NATO country with a common border with Russia, and with traditions of balancing deterrence and reassurance in its foreign policy towards its neighbour. Norway has for the most part followed EU’s sanctions policies, but at the same time Norwegians have since the early 1990s built strong people-to-people contacts through Barents collaboration, especially in the region close to the border. In light of the Russian invasion and war in Ukraine, how clearly do Norwegians today distinguish between the Russian regime and everything “Russian”? What policies toward Russia, e.g. on sanctions and visa restrictions, are they in favour of? And what are people’s expectations and opinion about Norway’s future relations with Russia in a short and longer term perspective? Data will be drawn from a public opinion survey of about 1,000 respondents in Norway to be conducted in December 2022. Multivariate analysis techniques will be used e.g. to examine effects of previous experience with Russians and Russian culture, and proximity to the border.