Survey reveals Georgians view Russia as biggest threat
A public opinion poll conducted in Georgia between March and April 2018 revealed that the majority of Georgia’s population (63%) view Russia as the biggest threat to the nation. The survey was commissioned by the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) and was fielded nationwide by the Caucasus Resource Research Center (CRRC).
Of those surveyed, 33% believe that Russia’s military aggression, the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, terrorism, Russian propaganda and Georgia’s economic dependence on Russia as the major threats facing Georgia. A total of 53% of the surveyed named Russia-related factors. The respondents also named some other threats, including: Turkey’s interests in Georgia (5%), religious and ethnic confrontation (4% and 2%, respectively) and NATO membership (3%).
Turkey and the USA were also named as countries posing a threat to Georgia (8% and 5% of respondents, respectively). However, few Georgians share this opinion. Meanwhile 30% of those surveyed considered the USA as the country that can ensure Georgia’s security best of all, while 15% of respondents named Russia.
The larger part of Georgia’s population (26%) believe NATO membership will help Georgia strengthen its national security. The respondents also named some other components that guarantee the country’s national security, including strengthening the country’s defensive capabilities, integration into the EU and strengthening democracy.
More than half of the population (52%) believe that Georgia is a safe country. Though many (43%) disagree with this viewpoint. Nearly half of the population think that Georgia’s defensive capabilities hasn’t changed much over the past three years. Around 49% of respondents are still positive and believe that Georgia’s security will improve in future.