Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) discovers that Russians still view Belarus as their most reliable and stable partner
By Yevgeny Semerin
In total, 1,600 respondents were polled across 138 towns and cities from 46 regions, territories and republics of the Russian Federation. Of these, 46 percent named Belarus as Russia’s most reliable partner within the international arena, followed by Kazakhstan (38 percent) and Ukraine (17 percent). “Over the last five years, Russians have traditionally named Minsk and Astana as their most reliable partners within the CIS,” notes the Centre.
Other countries significantly lag behind in the ‘trust rating’, with Armenia receiving just 5 percent, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan a humble 4 percent each and Uzbekistan only 3 percent. Moldova, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan polled a modest 2 percent each while Russians view Georgia as their least reliable partner within the post-Soviet space.
As far as the heads of CIS states are concerned, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, enjoys the greatest trust among Russian residents (34 percent). He is followed by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev (31 percent). The presidents of other CIS countries received the following ‘votes’: Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych — 12 percent; Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev — 5 percent; and Armenia’s Serzh Sargsyan and Kyrgyzstan’s Almazbek Atambayev — 3 percent each. With just 2 percent of the poll were Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov, Turkmenistan’s Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov and Tajikistan’s Emomali Rahmon. The presidents of Moldova and Georgia, Nicolae Timofti and Mikheil Saakashvili, received the lowest trust rating: 1 percent.
Russians view Belarus as a leader among CIS states for stability and success — as noted by 45 percent of respondents. Meanwhile, 33 percent prefer Kazakhstan; Ukraine is ranked third, with 19 percent. With modest figures are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Belarus is viewed as a leader in modernisation, as noted by 30 percent; the same opinion is held by 23 percent of respondents for Kazakhstan and by 14 percent for Ukraine. Other CIS countries failed to earn even 5 percent of public opinion.