70% of Lithuanians See Russia as Real Threat to National Security, Poll Finds

70% of Lithuanians see Russia as a threat, reflecting heightened security concerns. Minority groups have a different perception, highlighting challenges in fostering a unified view on national security.

Ebenezer Mensah
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70% of Lithuanians See Russia as Real Threat to National Security, Poll Finds

70% of Lithuanians See Russia as Real Threat to National Security, Poll Finds

A recent poll commissioned by LRT, the Lithuanian national broadcaster, has revealed that a significant majority of Lithuanians perceive Russia as a genuine threat to their country's national security. The survey, which included 1,115 adult respondents, found that 70% of participants agreed that Russia poses a real danger to Lithuania's security, with 29% responding "definitely yes" and 41% saying "rather yes" when asked about the threat.

The poll results underscore a notable divide between ethnic Lithuanians and minority citizens in their perceptions of Russia. While a substantial portion of the Lithuanian-speaking majority sees Russia as a threat, half of the non-Lithuanian speakers disagreed with this assessment, compared to 31% who considered Russia a danger. Experts attribute this difference in perception to the exposure of ethnic minorities to Russian media and their presence in different information spaces.

According to the article, the 70% consensus among Lithuanians regarding Russia's threat is a high figure, reflecting the dominant public discourse on geopolitical risks emanating from Russia. Some respondents who do not view Russia as a threat may feel protected by Lithuania's membership in international organizations like NATO, while others could be influenced by Russian propaganda.

Why this matters: The poll's findings highlight the heightened concerns among Lithuanians about Russia's actions and intentions, particularly in the context of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The results also shed light on the challenges faced by Lithuania in fostering a unified perception of national security threats among its diverse population.

Lithuania has taken steps to address the perceived threat from Russia, including designating the Russian mercenary group Wagner PMC as a terrorist organization due to its alleged involvement in crimes against civilians in Ukraine. The Lithuanian government has also signed a memorandum of understanding with German defense company Rheinmetall to establish an ammunition manufacturing facility in the country, aimed at reducing dependence on long supply chains and supporting Ukrainian forces in their fight against Russia. Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has called for continued Western assistance to Ukraine, emphasizing that "many more bullets are on the way" and that support cannot stop.

Key Takeaways

  • 70% of Lithuanians perceive Russia as a real security threat.
  • Ethnic Lithuanians are more likely to view Russia as a threat than minorities.
  • Lithuania has designated the Wagner PMC as a terrorist organization.
  • Lithuania is establishing an ammunition manufacturing facility with Germany.
  • Lithuania calls for continued Western support for Ukraine against Russia.