In November, public opinion and market research company Vilmorus carried out a survey on foreign policy which was commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The survey showed that 66 percent of the respondents were interested in relations with neighbouring countries, 44 percent cared about NATO and security issues. Thirty-nine percent were interested in assistance the MFA could provide them with while traveling abroad; 36 percent took interest in the European Union‘s issues, 34 percent in Lithuania’s international image, 32 percent in economic and energy security projects implemented by Lithuania.
People believe that Lithuania should most actively cooperate with Poland (61 percent of the polled), Germany (61 percent) and Latvia (60 percent). More than half of the respondents, 52 percent, also mentioned Estonia.
According to 48 percent of the polled, relations between Lithuania and Poland are good. However, a third said relations were bad. Lithuanians and the local Polish ethnic minority had rather similar views on the two countries’ relations. Most people said their evaluation was influenced by media.
Moreover, 58 percent of people who used the services provided by the MFA said their experience had been goof. Five percent of the polled said they or their family members had used the services of the MFA or Lithuanian representations abroad over the last five years.
Speaking about support to Ukraine, 56 percent of the surveyed indicated that Lithuania provided sufficient assistance. 10 percent said Lithuania provided too much assistance while 9 percent said it provided too.
Answering the question about Lithuania’s role in combating terrorism, 64 percent of the polled supported the country’s participation in international operations and missions. 8 percent said Lithuania should only contribute financially. Merely 23 percent of the polled said Lithuania should not contribute to the international fight against terrorism at all.
44 percent of the surveyed said Lithuania should provide support to developing countries and thus contribute to the international effort to reduce poverty and migration flows. Meanwhile, 28 percent said they would agree to personally contribute to the support for the developing countries.
Most people, 87 percent, receive information about Lithuania’s foreign policy from television. Online media was second, it was mentioned by 39 percent of the polled. However, for 71 percent of young people online media is the primary source of information. Radio and the press were mentioned as sources of information on the country’s foreign policy by 36 and 29 percent of the respondents respectively.
People were also asked on what foreign TV channels they watch news programmes. 32 percent indicated it was the 1st Baltic Channel (Russia), 26 percent – RTR (Russia), 11 percent – BBC, 11 percent – CNN. Other foreign channels are watched by fewer people. Most people who watch these TV channels trust their information. BBC is trusted by 82 percent, CNN by 84 percent, the 1st Baltic Channel by 62 percent and RTR by 58 percent of the polled.