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Survey: Record number of Finns willing to defend country in event of military attack

According to the National Defence Information Planning Board, support for military non-alignment has collapsed in Finland.

More than four out of five Finns want Finland to be defended by armed forces if it is attacked. Image: Jani Saikko/Yle

More than four in five people in Finland want the country to be defended by armed forces if it is attacked, according to the results of a survey by the National Defence Information Planning Board (MTS).

The survey also found that the willingness of Finns to defend their country is now at the highest level in the history of the survey since it was first conducted in 1976.

Prior to the most recent survey, MTS carried out a similar poll in the autumn of 2021. At that time, about two-thirds of the respondents thought that Finland should be defended if the country was attacked.

The most recent survey further revealed that support for Finland's Nato membership had also risen considerably compared to last autumn, with slightly more than two in three respondents saying they were in favour of Finland joining Nato. In the autumn, about a quarter of respondents said they favoured Nato membership.

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Non-alignment was majority position last autumn

Support for military non-alignment has collapsed in Finland, MTS noted following the publication of the survey results, as less than one fifth of respondents are in favour of such a doctrine, while in the autumn non-alignment was supported by about half of people surveyed.

In general, Finland joining a military alliance— an unnamed and nondescript alliance in the survey—was supported by two out of three respondents in the most recent survey. Last year, just under a third supported Finland joining a military alliance of any kind.

The latest survey also showed support for Finland joining a military alliance regardless of party affiliation— over half of supporters from all parties were in favour of such a move.

About 1,000 people between the ages of 15-79 responded to the MTS survey between April and May.