CIS population chooses Eurasian integration - survey
Over the last year in Russia and Kazakhstan popular support for the Customs Union and United Economic Space grew by more that 11% and reached 79% and 84%, in Belarus it is 68%, the results of an annual sociological survey Barometer of Integration, prepared by the center for integration research of the Eurasian Bank, together with the international research agency Eurasian Monitor.
The most attractive country in the process of integration is Russia. The positive attitude towards integration with Russia is particularly strong in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, while in Russia most respondents want to integrate with Belarus and Kazakhstan, the survey shows.
Anton Dudarenok, Associate Professor at the Management Academy under the President of Belarus, is not surprised that support for Eurasian integration in Belarus is growing. "Belorussians are oriented towards Russia, at least economically and politically. Yes, in the social and cultural aspect Europe competes with Russia, but traditionally from the 1990s Belorussians lean towards cooperation with Russia", he told VK. "For a long time already we have had stable and systematic work on integration with Russia, Belorussians are used to it."
The vice-president of the Foundation for Eurasian Development, Andrey Smirnov, connected the growth of support for Eurasian integration in Russia to anti-Western attitudes. "We can assume that the sanctions introduced against Russia by the US, the EU and other countries played an important role. The processes connected to the search for possibilities to replace Western imports in Russia also had an influence," the expert said.
"Naturally, it brought to the fore those countries with which we already have a common customs space - Belarus and Kazakhstan - and those countries that want to join the Eurasian economic space, in particular, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The cooperation in this situation played a positive role in the development of popular support for Eurasian integration in Russia," the expert concluded.