70% of Russians support Eurasian Economic Union



By Vestnik Kavkaza

Yesterday the VCIOM survey on the attitude of Russian citizens toward the Eurasian Economic Union was presented in Moscow. According to the survey, 70% of Russian citizens view positively the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union. It should be noted that the survey was the first in two years that reflected the position of Russian society toward the integration processes which are going on in the Eurasian economic space. Yulia Yakusheva, the director of the political scientific center “North-South,” commented on tge results of the survey for Vestnik Kavkaza

-       What aspects of the Eurasian Union’s activity were touched on by the survey?

-       The survey didn’t ask the respondents whether they are aware of the processes in post-Soviet space or what the essence of Eurasian integration is. However, it is clear that Russian citizens view the cooperation between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus positively. That’s why the percentage is high – 70%. The VCIOM considered the ages of the respondents. And we can see that the older generation supports the idea more than younger people. People aged 18-24 showed less support. The results are predictable, as the older generation often misses the USSR and cooperation with the post-Soviet states is considered to be a revival of the social model, the political model which used to exist in the Soviet Union. Of course, young people demand more serious motives which will determine the level of their support of the integration processes in Eurasia. I think it means we need to work with the younger group, first of all in the information sphere.

Moreover, the survey touched on the issue of a possible capital of the Eurasian Economic Union. The question was: “The President of Kazakhstan suggested making Yekaterinburg or Astana the capital of the Eurasian Union.” The majority of the Russians supported Yekaterinburg, Moscow took second place, and Astana is only in third place. We see that Russian citizens want the capital of the Eurasian Union to be in Russia.

I think the most interesting aspect of the survey is about extension of the Eurasian Economic Union. Respondents chose a country of the post-Soviet space which could be a potential member of the Eurasian Union and its membership would bring maximum benefits to the Union. It is interesting that Armenia took first place. It is explainable, as Armenia is preparing for accession to the Eurasian Union. It seems Russian citizens orient toward the information space, toward the information that Armenia is ready to join the organization. Azerbaijan is in second place. And it's a surprise, as Azerbaijan hasn’t agreed to join the Eurasian Union. As you know, at the moment Azerbaijan is considering various forms of cooperation with the Union, but nobody speaks about its membership. It means Russian citizens view positively Azerbaijan as a member of the Eurasian Union, because it is the most developed country in the region. Ukraine got only 10% of support and turned out to be lower than Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in the rating of potential members. It seems the information space influences the attitude. Mass media messages show that Ukraine is aimed at Europe in its foreign policy and doesn’t plan to join the EaEU.

-       Have similar surveys been conducted in other countries participating in the process?

-       I have no information on results in Belarus. I know that Kazakhstan conducts many such surveys. They were not always organized by social structures, but we can sum up certain results. In Kazakhstan common citizens, experts, and analysts follow development of integration processes in the Eurasian space attentively, as they believe that establishment of the EaEU is crucial for their foreign policy. Results of their surveys are similar to the Russian one. The level of support for the EaEU in Kazakhstan is 55-85%. 55% were the results of a recent survey which was conducted on the internet. It means that the level of support for integration processes among users of the internet is not high. 85% were the results of the KISI survey (Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic), it really reflects attitudes in the society. In Kazakhstan a question on awareness of the EaEU’s activity was asked. 85% of Kazakhstan citizens know what the EaEU is. The high level of support of integration processes is connected with economic prospects.

However, 7% of Kazakhstan's citizens are afraid of political dependence on Russia. I think this is connected with the lack of information on the EaEU, even in the expert community. Nobody emphasizes that all sides will have equal rights and powers in the Union, the countries will have an equal number of votes in making decisions. There is no sense in thinking about Russia’s dominance. Moreover, there will be no political institutes in the EaEU. This is an economic union, in which the interests of all participants will be considered.

-       Has a survey been conducted in Armenia?

-       Yes, it has. I don’t know whether the survey was held last month. According to my information, 86% of Armenian citizens support joining the EaEU. We can say that public opinion in Armenia is pro-Russian and pro-Eurasian.

-       One of the advantages of such a space is an opportunity to travel within the space freely. Are such questions included in the survey?

-       Unfortunately, the survey didn’t focus on the advantages which Russian citizens could get after establishment of the EaEU. Probably an opportunity to work in Belarus and Kazakhstan was mentioned there, but the issue is not covered. According to the survey, the question is important for Kazakhstan – about 22% of respondents positively view the opportunity to work in Russia and free movement of goods, services, capital and labor force.

 

1725 views


More Russian news

Zakharova dismisses Johnson#039s accusations over Syria

Zakharova dismisses Johnson's accusations over Syria

The United Kingdom is guilty of protracting and worsening violence in Iraq, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday in response to UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's similar …

Russian tourists#039 interest in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan is growing

Russian tourists' interest in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan is growing

South Caucasus demonstrates the most balanced price-performance ratio

Moscow accuses Washington and London in militarization

Moscow accuses Washington and London in militarization

US and Britain threatening world peace with militarisation of Europe, Russia believes

UK FM: Russia guilty of prolonging war in Syria

UK FM: Russia guilty of prolonging war in Syria

Russia is guilty of prolonging the war in Syria, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in an interview aired on Sunday, Al-Arabiya reports. “(Russia) are guilty of protracting this war and making it …

#039Great Silk Road#039 tourist route opens in North Caucasus

'Great Silk Road' tourist route opens in North Caucasus

The new tourist route "Great Silk Road" will open in the North Caucasus on Sunday. Chinese and Russian tour operators will embark on the week-long tour of North Caucasian regions, the Russian Ministry of North Caucasus Affairs …

Ilham Aliyev receives Deputy Chairman of Council of Federation of Russian Federal Assembly

Ilham Aliyev receives Deputy Chairman of Council of Federation of Russian Federal Assembly

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, head of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly observation …

Russia sees progress after aviation security talks with Egypt

Russia sees progress after aviation security talks with Egypt

Following high-level meetings between Russian and Egyptian aviation officials, both sides have said that progress has been made on a resumption of flights between the two countries, Ahram Online writes. Egypt's Civil Aviation …

Kerry on situation in Aleppo: Russia needs to set an exle

Kerry on situation in Aleppo: Russia needs to set an example

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia must set an example, not a precedent, while discussing the situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo. "Russia needs to set an example, not a precedent — an …

Yuri Gorlin: Those who participated in the earnings-related pension system lost’’

Yuri Gorlin: "Those who participated in the earnings-related pension system lost’’

The Deputy Director of the RANHiGS Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting on the pension problems of modern Russia

Festival of culture and sports of Caucasian peoples starts in Ingushetia

Festival of culture and sports of Caucasian peoples starts in Ingushetia

The 7th Festival of Culture and Sports of the peoples of the Caucasus, which will feature all seven regions of the North Caucasus Federal District (North Caucasus Federal District) is held this weekend in Ingushetia. According to the vice-premier …

more Russian news