Survey: two thirds of Lithuanians fear a military conflict in the country’s territory

Exercise in Rukla
J.Butkutės nuotr.

During research commissioned by the insurance group ERGO, it was found that 68% of Lithuanian citizens are concerned over potential military conflict in the country’s territory.

Research data shows that currently the concerns of impeding war are at their greatest in Lithuania. Two years ago 67% felt concerned, while in 2014 – 55% of Lithuanians. 62% of Latvians are worried about a potential military conflict. The Estonians feel more secure, with 45% of the population worried about a military conflict, a press release stated.

Over the past two years, concerns over economic and political instability have risen significantly in Lithuania. An entire 77% of Lithuanian citizens fear potential economic or political instability, an increase from 66% in 2015. Lithuanians are less worried about ethnic conflicts – 41% of citizens are concerned of these and the metric has not shifted much over the past two years.

Lithuania is notable in the research data for the lowest concern over increases in migrant numbers. More than half of Lithuanian respondents indicated they feel insecure due to this (55%). Compared to results two years ago this has risen from 41%.

Concerns over migrant numbers rising, particularly refugees, has been rapidly rising in Estonia. Almost two thirds of Estonians are concerned about this demographic shift (60%). On the other hand the neighbours are far calmer over economic and political instability, which 52% of Estonians are concerned about.

Concerns over ethnic instability are among the most prominent in Latvia, where 54% of respondents indicated concern. Pessimistic moods about the economy and politics were also notable there, with 80% feeling insecure. Almost two thirds of Latvian citizens indicated concerns over a rise in immigrants (64%).

The concerns over military conflict and political instability are largely due to our region’s geographic position and historical memory. Meanwhile the negative views of a rise in immigrants can be attributed to the same things that have so far prevented widespread immigrant registration.

On the other hand, recent terrorist attacks have not increased concerns over terrorism in Lithuania. Relatively few worry about it in Lithuania – 32%. As all others, the metric is higher in Latvia (38%), while in Estonia concerns over terrorism only reached 23%.

The research was undertaken by the Latvian public opinion research centre SKDS. Three thousand respondents aged 18-74 from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were interviewed, 1000 per country.

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