Whereas ordinary Norwegians identified Vladimir Putin as the single largest threat to world peace, analysts pointed out that the dangers potentially posed by China are much more serious, given its growing role as an economic superpower.
As many as 38 percent of Norwegians see Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as the greatest threat to world peace, a survey carried out by pollster Ipsos conducted for the newspaper Dagbladet concluded.
Chinese President Xi Jinping was second with 25 percent, followed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
US President Joe Biden missed the podium with 4 percent.
Another 7 percent said none of them are a threat, whereas the remaining 7 percent were undecided.
The Director of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, Iver B. Neumann, is not surprised by the findings, listing three reasons for Norwegians’ fear of Russia.
“Firstly, we have had close contact with a threat from Russia for the most part of a century. People are vigilant about Russia. Secondly, it is much closer to us than both China, North Korea, and the US. Thirdly, Russia constantly uses military force as theatre”, Neumann said.
Yet, Russia, according to Neumann, is neither a global power, nor a superpower, but a “small player in the world”, with “only” 145 million inhabitants and “an economy the size of Spain”.
By contrast, China with a manpower of 1.2 billion people and an economy bound to surpass even the US in a relatively short time, is an upcoming challenge for…