Support for EU and NATO membership high among Latvian speakers

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Most Latvian speakers support membership in the European Union (EU) and NATO, while Latvia's Russian-speaking population is divided on the issue, according to a study conducted by the Center for Security and Strategic Research at the Latvian National Defense Academy, reported LETA Sunday.

More than 70% of Latvian-speaking respondents in the survey said that Latvia’s accession to the EU was the right decision, 20.5% disagreed, and 9% were undecided.

Among the Russian-speakers, 43% supported Latvia’s membership in the EU, 41% disapproved and 16% could not decide.

Asked to name the benefits from membership in the EU, respondents mostly mentioned freedom of movement, infrastructure improvements, EU funding for various development projects, free movement of goods and investment attraction.

The most frequently named negative aspects included the decline of Latvia’s industrial sector, emigration, rising living costs and euro adoption.

As for Latvia’s membership in NATO, 73% of the Latvian-speaking respondents called it the right decision and 16% said it was a mistake, while 10% had no definitive opinion on the issue.

Among the Russian-speakers, 48% were against Latvia’s membership in the alliance and 38% supported it, while 13% had no opinion about the issue.

The surveys were carried out last year as part of a study examining the possibilities for using non-military methods to achieve objectives hostile to Latvia with hybrid warfare.

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