Survey: ethnicities split over perception of NATO

  • 2005-12-14
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - There is still a wide gap between how ethnic Estonians and non-Estonians perceive the country's membership in NATO, a Faktum agency survey carried out in November shows.

The ratio of respondents supporting NATO membership was 84 percent among ethnic Estonians and 48 percent among non-Estonians, according to the poll, which was commissioned by the defense ministry.

In comparison with a similar survey carried out in June, the rate of NATO support among native Estonians had dropped by five percent, and by three percent among non-Estonians.

November's poll also revealed that ethnic Estonians and residents of other nationalities see national security guarantees from a totally different light.

For ethnic Estonians, the key security guarantee is NATO membership, which is perceived as such by 73 percent of respondents. For non-Estonians, the main guarantee is a good relationship with Russia - the opinion of 55 percent.

Forty-six percent of residents feel that security increased after the country joined NATO, while 38 percent think it's remained on the previous level. Four percent said it has deteriorated.