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Top marks for Niinistö in poll on handling of Ukraine crisis

A survey indicates that people in Finland are pleased with President Sauli Niinistö's leadership since Russia invaded Ukraine.

President Sauli Niinistö has outshined other Finnish political leaders in his handling of the Ukraine crisis, according to the results of a survey conducted by news group Uutissuomalainen.

Respondents awarded Niinistö a grade of 8.9 on the Finnish school grading scale (4-10).

Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) had the second best score, drawing a mark of 7.8. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) came in third (7.6) and Pekka Haavisto fourth (7.5).

Some 1,000 people responded to the poll, which was carried out by Tietoykkönen.

Niinistö has figured prominenlty in both Finnish and international media since the war in Ukraine broke out. On Thursday the President said he believed Finland has already demonstrated required popular support for seeking Nato membership. Interest in joining the military alliance among Finns has risen dramatically since Russia's military attack.

Next president?

Finland's next presidential election is scheduled to take place in early 2024. Earlier this week an Yle poll found that Bank of Finland governor Olli Rehn (Cen) would be the most likely winner of Finland's next presidential election.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin occupied the second and third positions respectively on that poll, which was carried out by Taloustutkimus.

In Finland, the President's remit is to lead on foreign and security policy matters rather than on domestic issues.