VCIOM: Russians think Belarus and Kazakhstan are best

VCIOM: Russians think Belarus and Kazakhstan are best

The traditional annual research by VCIOM on the attitude of Russian citizens to the former Soviet Union countries was presented today in Moscow. On the year of the 25th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center studied an assessment of political and social changes and measured the level of Russians' confidence in these countries and their leaders.

Russians still think that Belarus and Kazakhstan are the most stable and successful among CIS republics (68% and 51%), the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reports.

Armenia was ranked third in this poll - 16% of respondents called it stable and successful. 14% chose Uzbekistan, despite the change of president. Azerbaijan closed the top five of stable and successful republics (13%) from the point of view of Russian citizens.

The question of ensuring the rights of Russian-speaking people showed similar results: according to Russians, Russian-speaking people are fully protected in Belarus in the first place (69%) and Kazakhstan (38% of respondents). Armenia was ranked third (13%), and Ukraine - fourth (6%). 5% of Russian respondents noted the security of the Russian diaspora in Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan.

The three leaders are different in the case of the credibility issue: the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev are followed by the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

The poll was conducted among 1600 people on December 10-11.

MGIMO Professor, Doctor of Political Science Elena Ponomareva, in turn, noted the logic of Russians when choosing the leaders of the CIS countries, in which they have strong confidence. "These presidents - Lukashenko, Nazarbayev and Aliyev - are associated with their states and realize the state's interests in world politics, in both the CIS and global international relations. It make the state successful," the MGIMO Professor explained.

Elena Ponomareva called tourism among the means to improve the assessment of the former Soviet republics by Russians. "For example, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan created great conditions for both winter and summer sports. There are  wonderful places near Gabala, in some ways they are much better than in Switzerland. But these are not popular destinations. At the same time, when person comes to another country, he explores it from the inside, and changes his attitude for the better. Therefore, I think that the development of tourism is a faster way to learn about each other," she pointed out.

According to her, the study of public opinion in the information society gives insight into the success of geopolitics and its prospects. "It is very difficult to form a long-term agenda without it for both the Russian leadership and the countries for which the analysis was carried out. But the public evaluation can be based not only on knowledge of the situation, but rather on some views. Considering the situation in the countries, I was surprised with the fact that Armenia was ranked third, but not Azerbaijan, because, according to independent, not emotional indicators, Azerbaijan plays a much bigger role in modern world politics," the MGIMO Professor noted.

The member of Russian Academy of Science, Doctor of Historical Sciences Yefim Pivovar, drew attention to the lack of awareness of Russians about the modern life of the CIS countries, which are not included in Russian integration projects. "For example, in Azerbaijan, Russian language is used not only as a language of interethnic communication, but also as a language of education segment from kindergarten to high school. Moreover, not only the Russian-speaking diaspora uses Russian language, but also Azerbaijanis themselves. I did not meet such phenomenon in other countries except Belarus and Kazakhstan, " he said.

Such facts must be popularized in the Russian information field. "Another phenomenon is high economic growth rates, which has been shown by Azerbaijan up to the recent crisis. However, the survey showed that Ilham Aliyev is popular. I think that data, identified by our colleagues, reflects the global trends, which are being formed in the CIS and the Eurasian Union," Yefim Pivovar concluded.