In a recent survey carried out by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), more than two in three of 1,000 adults in Norway said that they supported armed resistance in response to a military attack. Only 14 per cent of respondents disagreed.
Willing to defend Nordic neighbours
Almost as many (66 per cent) believe that Norway should help defend a Nordic neighbour militarily, should they come under attack.
“The willingness of Norwegians to defend their neighbours is high. Our tradition of solidarity and international cooperation is something Norwegian people have been proud of historically,” PRIO Director Henrik Urdal says.
The willingness to defend Nordic neighbours was found to be equally high in a recent Swedish survey, a country that historically has been neutral, but is now joining NATO.
The PRIO survey was carried out by the market research and data analytics firm YouGov in June to assess Norwegian attitudes on war and peace. The results will be presented during Arendalsuka, an annual political festival in Norway, where PRIO will host events related to Nordic security and Norwegian peace diplomacy.
Positive towards peace talks between Russia and Ukraine
The survey also sought out attitudes on Norway’s position as a peace mediator.
It found that one third of respondents believe Norwegian diplomacy has contributed to ending conflict, and almost 40 per cent think that Norway’s international reputation has been strengthened by its peace diplomacy.
Furthermore, over 40 per cent of those asked would support holding peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in Oslo, should it come to that. Peace diplomacy has been central to Norway’s foreign policy in the past.
A new geopolitical era
However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put wars between states back on the global agenda. For Norway, war has moved much closer to home.
“We are entering a new geopolitical era. Norwegian foreign policy is shifting focus from international peace efforts to security politics, and the ramifications of this are just beginning to play out,” Urdal says.