Survey: Vast Majority of Finns Willing To Fight For Country In Case of War

ROVANIEMI, FINLAND - MAY 23: Finnish conscript soldiers participate in the LIST 22 live-fire Lightning Strike military exercises at the Rovajärvi training grounds on May 23, 2022 near Rovaniemi, Finland. Finland, after decades of neutrality, is applying along with Sweden for membership in the NATO military alliance as a consequence …
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A survey of residents of Finland has revealed that a majority would be prepared to fight for their country if a war were declared as Finland looks to join the NATO alliance.

The survey, conducted by the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), found that just 12 per cent of Finns say they would not want to fight for their country in the event of a war, while 62 per cent said they would fight in any potential future conflict.

The Finnish response to the survey contrasts much of Western Europe, with other countries, including NATO members, seeing far fewer residents willing to fight in a war, such as the Netherlands where the figure was just 16 per cent and just 22 per cent for Germany and Italy, broadcaster Yle reports.

The survey also asked Finns about the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine and found that 98 per cent of respondents blame Russia for the conflict and 90 per cent say they trust mainstream media information on the conflict, the highest of any country in the study.

Earlier this month, Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced the country would be applying to join the NATO alliance after many weeks of speculation in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sweden followed suit days later, however, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his country would block the applications of both countries, accusing them of sympathising with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

“[T]he Scandinavian countries, unfortunately, are almost like guesthouses for terrorist organizations. PKK, DHKP-C are nested in the Netherlands and Sweden. I go further, they also take part in the parliaments there. It is not possible for us to have a positive look,” Erdogan said.

Despite the opposition from Turkey, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto stated on the weekend that he was confident some agreement with turkey could be met and that Finland would enter the NATO alliance.

“A few days ago I said this is an issue that is at least discussed for several days. Now I can say with caution that this will be discussed for several weeks,” Haavisto said.

“It is important that, as the PKK is designated as a terrorist organisation in Europe, we do our part to ensure that no terrorist activities are prepared on Finnish soil,” he added, speaking of Finland’s position on the PKK terror group.

The Foreign Minister also commented on Sweden’s application for NATO saying, ” We have said that Sweden’s cause is ours. So we are on a shared journey. NATO, too, has given us the same deadline.”

On Monday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Anderssonalso expressed optimism about negotiations with Turkey saying, “From the beginning, we received positive signals from Turkey on how they would view a Swedish and Finnish application to NATO. Now we have a dialogue underway. It will continue and I’m looking forward to that.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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