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Support to NATO by Lithuanian people – at its highest of five years

2019.01.09
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86% of the population are in favor of Lithuania’s NATO membership which is the highest percentage in the past five years. A similar number of respondents (83%) approve of NATO allies’ presence on the territory of Lithuania. The data was gathered through a public opinion poll carried out by request of the Ministry of National Defence in December 2018.

 

“Over the 15 years of membership Lithuania was consistently investing into strengthening Alliance connections and succeeded in securing a strong support of its NATO allies. The strong approval of the public of Lithuania’s NATO membership and deployment of allied troops on the soil of our country demonstrates that the society understands our security threats and appreciates the Alliance’s initiatives for strengthening security in the region,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis says.

 

According to the poll, 76% of the respondents think that the German-led multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group deployed in Lithuania ensures deterrence against hostile countries. The high-readiness multinational combat capabilities have been deployed in the Baltic states and Poland since 2017 with regard to the Russian aggression in Ukraine and changed security environment.

 

Respondents were asked to share their idea what the friendliest European countries to Lithuania were: 62% of them mentioned Latvia, other countries that came to the respondents’ minds were Estonia (mentioned by 44%), Germany (43%), Poland (36%), and Ukraine (20%).

 

52% of the respondents rated Germany as Lithuania’s strategic partner in defence, 41% - the United States of America, 33% - Poland, 25% - Latvia, and 20% - France. Military cooperation with the U.S., Germany, Poland, Baltic and Nordic countries, and other allies in bilateral and multilateral formats is a pivotal instrument for strengthening Lithuanian defence capabilities, the ability to act in concert, and for enhancing regional and international security.

 

An increasing percentage of the population (75% of respondents in 2018 up from 60% of respondents in 2017) believes that Lithuania should defend and/or render military assistance to other NATO allies in case of an armed conflict. That sustains the principle of Lithuania’s defence policy: the country has to be prepared for joint collective action defending Lithuania or any other member of NATO alongside NATO allies.

 

Moreover, 64% of the respondents approve of Lithuania’s military assistance to Ukraine. Lithuania has been rendering full-fledged assistance to Ukraine, including humanitarian, material and military, since 2014 in support of the country’s independence and territorial integrity.

 

The public opinion poll was carried out on 11-22 December 2018 by Spinter Tyrimai public opinion research company by request of the Ministry of National Defence.

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