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Citizens of Lithuania are highly favourable to NATO membership and deployment of allied forces in the country


Absolute majority of Lithuanian population highly approve of Lithuania’s NATO membership and strongly support enhanced NATO presence in the country, as shown by a poll commissioned by the Ministry of National Defence and conducted by public opinion polling company RAIT in December 2016.


According to the poll, 84 percent of Lithuanian population approve or highly approve of NATO membership, which is 3 % more than in 2015. Only 9% of respondents were not in favor of membership of the Alliance (drops from 10% in 2015), and roughly 7% of respondents could not provide an opinion (in comparison, 9% in 2015). However, the percentage of unsure respondents is decreasing annually.


A part of the population of almost the same size, 81%, are in favour of permanent presence of NATO troops on Lithuania’s territory, and 67% of respondents are in favour or fully approve that the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion deployed in Lithuania this year will help deter aggressive states.


“NATO is Lithuania’s strategic security partner, therefore high approval rates of NATO membership and NATO presence demonstrates good public awareness of national security situation,” Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said.


Almost a half (48%) of the respondents said that noticing Lithuanian or allied troops in uniform and their military equipment makes them feel more secure. 73% of respondents agree that deployment of NATO troops and more frequent military exercises enhance Lithuanian security , and 67% agree that the NATO battalion deployed in Lithuania in 2017 will help deter aggressive states.


According to the poll, Latvia seen as the friendliest country by a little more than a half of respondents. Lithuanian citizens pointed out Germany as one of the friendliest European countries; the NATO battalion hosted by Lithuania in 2017 is led by Germany. Lithuanians also called the other neighbouring countries, Estonia and Poland, as the friendliest ones in Europe.


The poll was commissioned by the Ministry of National Defence and carried out by public opinion polling company RAIT Ltd on 9-20 December 2016. The sample was 1,010 permanent residents of Lithuania at the age of 15–74. Margin of error in the data is ±3%.


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