According to a recent study carried out by insurer Ergo and Latvian pollster SKDS, 45 percent of Estonian residents are afraid of a possible military conflict on the Estonian territory.
The fear of military conflict was highest in 2015, when the percentage of people saying they were afraid was 12 percent higher than this year, spokespeople for Ergo told BNS on Tuesday.
Fear of potential ethnic conflict was expressed by 46 percent of respondents, again a decrease since the last such poll in 2015. 52 percent are afraid of potential economic or political instability, also on a downward trend.
While most indicators show that Estonians are worried less, fear of disadvantageous consequences of migration has increased, with 60 percent of respondents expressed worry about “large numbers of immigrants, including refugees”, BNS reported on Tuesday.
Dekla Uusma, risk manager of life and health insurance at ERGO, said that the aforementioned fears are to be expected. "Concern about getting into a military conflict or a politically unstable environment is probably justified by our geographical location and historical events. In addition, there have been no great ethnical conflicts in our region. Therefore the fear of something new and unknown is understandable," Uusma said.
While both Latvians and Lithuanians expressed similar fears, fear of terrorism is still comparably low and has only increased slightly. 23 percent of Estonian respondents expressed worry about terrorism, 3 percent more than in the last poll in 2015.
Uusma again sees the reason for this in the circumstances of the Baltic states. ”These numbers probably reflect the circumstances that our region has not had considerable contact with terrorism. However, we have noted that when travelling, people ask more and more if their life or travel insurance contract also covers falling victim to a terrorist attack," Uusma said.
The assessment of national security is one of five main criteria making up Ergo's safety index in the Baltics. Compared to Latvians and Lithuanians, Estonians feel the safest among the Baltic nations when it comes to national security.
The study assessed the sense of safety of residents in the Baltic countries. It was carried out by Ergo in cooperation with Latvian pollster SKDS and interviewed altogether 3,000 people, with then number of respondents divided equally between the three Baltic countries. The study assessed the sense of safety of residents in the Baltic countries.
Editor: Dario Cavegn