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Survey: A total of 81% of Estonia´s residents consider it necessary to provide armed resistance in the event of an attack, and more than half support raising defence spending

22. July 2022 - 15:52
81% of residents consider the offering of armed resistance to an attack to be possibly or definitely necessary.
81% of residents consider the offering of armed resistance to an attack to be possibly or definitely necessary.

The results of a public opinion survey commissioned by the Ministry of Defence of Estonia revealed that Estonian people’s will to defend and their belief that Estonia would be able to resist until the arrival of its Allies has risen significantly in light of the Ukrainian war. There has also been a growing willingness to engage in defence activities and the conviction that armed resistance must be provided in the event of an attack.

“In general, we can say that the residents of Estonia both support and are personally ready to defend Estonia. We can be certain that we are ready to stand together and fight for Estonian freedom as firmly as we stood for freedom at the end of the eighties and beginning of the nineties,” said Minister of Defence Hanno Pevkur on the results of the survey published today.

81% of residents consider the offering of armed resistance to an attack to be possibly or definitely necessary (+9% compared to 2021). According to their abilities and skills, 66% of the population is prepared to possibly or definitely participate in defence activities (+9% compared to 2021). Compared to last year, the belief that Estonia will be able to possibly or definitely defend itself until help from Allies arrives has grown (60%, previously 49%). At the same time, the proportion of residents who do not consider it possible at all has also decreased significantly (from 13% to 7%).

80% of the population is in favour of NATO membership, and 69% of the population estimates that NATO has done enough to ensure Estonia’s security. 48% of the population also believes that if a conflict breaks out, NATO would provide direct military assistance to Estonia. In 2022, Estonians most commonly consider membership in NATO (70%, compared to 2021 +9%) to be the main security guarantee for the state of Estonia. 69% of the population believe that soldiers from the NATO Battlegroup stationed in Estonia make it safer to live in Estonia.

“It is worth noting that half of residents consider it necessary to raise defence spending. In the near future, Estonia will face a series of very important investments to strengthen its defence capability, and it is good to know that the residents of Estonian have faith in how the defence sector is spending this money, and consider investments in security and national defence to be important,” said Minister of Defence Pevkur.

51% of residents are in favour of raising defence spending (31% in 2021). This year, the Government of the Republic has approved two additional packages to strengthen Estonia’s military defence in the amount of EUR 816 million. Defence spending represents 2.3% of GDP this year.

The 2022 Public Opinion Survey, commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, took place between March and early April. The sample consisted of 1200 residents of Estonia aged 15–74, and online and telephone surveys were combined as the survey method.

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