According to a study done for the newspaper Dagbladet by pollster Ipsos, as many as 38% of Norwegians consider Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as the biggest danger to global peace.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un came in second with 25%, followed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
With 4%, US President Joe Biden fell short of the podium.
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Another 7% thought none of them pose a danger, while the other 7% were unsure.
Iver B. Neumann, Director of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, is unsurprised by the findings, citing three reasons for Norwegians’ fear of Russia.
Yet, according to Neumann, Russia is neither a global power nor a superpower, but rather a “small player in the world,” with “just” 145 million people and “an economy the size of Spain.”
China, on the other hand, with 1.2 billion people and an economy poised to exceed even the United States in a very short period of time, is an impending challenge for global peace and a potentially major danger, according to the director.
Stein Tnnesson, an Asia researcher at the Department of Peace Research, was also interested in China.
“It is the deteriorating relationship between China and the US, and Biden and Xi Jinping, that is most critical”, and according to the expert, a potential battle in Taiwan may spark a world war.
Unlike its neighbouring Sweden, which has fought numerous battles with Russia for northern borders and general influence throughout the ages, Norway has never fought a war against its large Eastern neighbour.
However, despite hundreds of years of collaboration going back to the Viking Age and later Pomor commerce, Norwegian-Russian ties have been strained by mutual espionage allegations and military buildups.
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