An overwhelming majority of Icelanders, or close to 82 % of participants are in favour of Iceland supporting Ukraine in the war with Russia, while 7 % oppose. Additionally, 86.5 % support Iceland’s efforts in sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and 68.6 % are in favour of economic support for Ukraine.
These are some of the results from an annual survey made by Maskína for the Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs about various aspects of the Icelandic Foreign Service.
Interestingly, 35.8 % say they are in favour of giving direct military support to Ukraine, for example by paying for the training of soldiers, munitions or the transport of munitions, while 38.9 % are in opposition. A similar question was posed in the 2022 survey, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, then 21.3 % said they were in favour of military support for Ukraine while 52 % said they opposed it.
Additionally, 83.8 % of the Icelandic people oppose any cooperation between Iceland and Russia in the international arena, and when asked with which states they think Iceland should not engage with in international cooperation, most people, or 25.3 %, mentioned Russia, followed by China (12 %), North Korea (8.1 %) and Belarus (5.3 %). When asked which states they think Iceland has the most in common with, most respondents mentioned the Nordic countries, i.e. Norway (16.8 %), Denmark (15.8 %), Sweden (13.3 %) and Finland (8.4 %), followed by the United States (7 %). 77.4 % consider it important for Iceland to supply assistance to developing states and their inhabitants.
Many are concerned about international affairs
Over half of the respondents, or 55.6 %, say they are concerned about international affairs, while only 9.1 % say they are not concerned. A total of 61.5 % say they are more concerned now than they were a year ago. It should be added that last year, 75.5 % said they were more concerned than they were the previous year.
68.2 % are concerned about the spread of fake news, 65.8 % say that Iceland should make special efforts in support of freedom of expression in the international community, and 61.9 % think that Iceland should make a special effort in the fight against hate speech.
Positive views on Nordic cooperation
When asked about Iceland’s participation in international cooperation, Icelanders have the most positive attitude towards Nordic cooperation, with 87.9 % taking a positive view of Iceland being actively involved in Nordic cooperation. Furthermore, a total of 58.5 % say they have a positive view of Iceland being party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (the EEA Agreement), while 10.9 % say they take a negative view.
Public support for Iceland's membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (62.6 %) has decreased slightly from last year, when it increased by almost 20 %. Then over 70 % of Icelanders said they viewed Iceland’s membership in NATO positively, compared with just over 50 % the year before. The same applies to the public’s attitude towards Iceland’s defence cooperation with the United States. Currently 53.7 % say they have a positive view of this cooperation, whereas last year it was 60.7 % compared to 43.1 % in 2021.
The survey was conducted online between the 4th and 8th of May 2023, with 1,017 respondents. The data was weighted for gender, age, area of residence, and education, in line with information from the civil status records. All the result of the survey can be accessed via this link: https://www.maskina.is/maelabord/utn-allir-english/