RIGA - With the war started by Russia against Ukraine, the number of residents in Latvia who evaluate Russia negatively has increased from 37 percent last year to 66 percent this year, according to a survey conducted by the research center SKDS.
"For understandable reasons, Russia is no longer seen in a positive light too much in Latvia," SKDS head Arnis Kaktins said on social networks, noting that in the survey conducted in July this year, only 20 percent admitted that they have a positive opinion of Russia. Another 15 percent of respondents could not formulate their opinion.
In 2021, Russia was evaluated positively by 48 percent, negatively by 37 percent and 14 percent had no clear opinion.
Survey data on the situation ten years ago - in 2012 - show that at that time 56 percent of people evaluated Russia positively, 28 percent negatively and 16 percent found it difficult to express their opinion. On the other hand, in 2010 and 2011, almost two-thirds "sympathized with Russia", noted Kaktins.
Comparatively, the attitude of Latvian residents towards the US has not changed significantly over the last year - this year 51 percent of respondents had a positive attitude towards the US compared to 50 percent a year ago, while 35 percent had a negative attitude this year compared to 36 percent a year ago. The most negative evaluations against the US appeared in the survey in 2020 - 46 percent, while the most positive evaluations were in 2010 - 57 percent.
On the other hand, the attitude of Latvian residents towards the European Union has become more negative over the last year, but it is still significantly more positive than towards the US and Russia - this year, 66 percent of surveyed Latvian residents have a positive attitude towards the EU compared to 71 percent a year ago, while a negative attitude is 23 percent compared to 18 percent a year ago.
About 1,000 respondents participated in each of the surveys.