Most Russians want to preserve INF Treaty
Almost two-thirds of Russian citizens (63%) believe Moscow must undertake efforts to salvage the INF accord, but dismiss U.S. accusations of Russia’s failure to comply with its provisions as unfounded (74%), an opinion poll carried out by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center reveals.
"Three-fourths of those surveyed have heard about the U.S. plans to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Almost two-thirds of the respondents believe that Russia is in some way or another interested in maintaining the treaty (62%), and that is why the agreement must stay in place (63%). Twenty-one percent of the polled Russians think the opposite," TASS cited the survey as saying.
Most Russians (84%, of whom 61% are not aware of the details) know about the treaty, and almost half of them (49%) think it is advantageous for both sides, while each third Russian national believes the INF Treaty offer the U.S. more benefits.
As for Washington’s accusations that Russia had violated the agreement, most respondents (74%) call them unfounded. Meanwhile, 66% of the polled Russians see Moscow’s counterclaims against the U.S. for its failure to comply with the accord as rather justified.
Opinions are divided as to who is more committed to saving the INF Treaty, with 29% saying the two countries are equally concerned about this, compared to 33% who say Russia is more committed to seeing the treaty remain in place, while 10% say the US is more interested. As many as 15% of those surveyed believe neither side is seeking to maintain the treaty.
"The Gorbachev-Reagan era, remembered for the signing of the INF and other treaties on reducing nuclear arms, is nowadays labeled by Russia’s public opinion as primarily a period of collapse and Russia surrendering its positions. However, despite widespread concerns of these treaties’ being more advantageous for the U.S., Russians see them as major mechanisms for maintaining peace and security across the globe," pollster’s Director General Valery Fedorov said.
"The U.S. leadership’s new policy to scrap these arms reduction deals is unacceptable and harmful in our people’s opinion. It raises the threat of a nuclear war and mutual extermination and adds tensions to the relationship between the two countries," Fedorov stressed.
The nationwide poll involving 1,600 respondents was conducted on January 22. The margin of error does not exceed 2.5% at a 95% confidence level.