According to a poll conducted by Russia’s independent Levada Center, the United States is now the country considered by the greatest number of Russians to be an enemy of their country, while Belarus is generally considered the most friendly towards Russia. Levada polled 1601 people, ages 18 and above,in 130 settlements located in 45 regions of Russia. The survey, conducted on May 23-27, claims to have a 3.5% margin of error. Eastbook.eu looks at who topped the list of friends and enemies…
Among the top 5 most hostile, under the USA, were Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. The Baltic states therefore, occupy 3rd, 4th and 5th place for perceived hostility towards Russia. The survey does not provide reasons for people’s choice, but probably the challenges faced by Russian minorities in the three Baltic states have a role to play. According to latest data, there are approximately 1,071,572 ethnic Russians in the three Baltic States, their number being an estimated 340, 750 in Estonia and 556,430 in Latvia. The number of ethnic Russians in Lithuania has been estimated to be around 172,000. The problems faced by Russian minorities in the Baltics has recently increased to an extent that Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov appealed for additional efforts in addressing the situation during his meeting with Council of Europe’s Secretary General.
— Stanislava (@Stasy123456) June 19, 2013
In last year’s poll, Georgia was the first offender followed by the U.S., but switched places this year, perhaps due to frosty relations Moscow over the U.S. Magnitsky Act and the Russian ban on U.S. citizens from adoptions, while the diplomatic stalemate with Georgia has thawed slightly in recent months.
Ukraine was a distant 6th place, showing that the percentage of people who regarded the Baltic States and the US enemies of the Russian state were not exactly negligible. Paradoxically, however, when asked for their general feeling about the United States, 51 percent responded with “very good” or “generally good.” This is slightly down from the 54 percent of similar responses in May of 2012 and 2011.
— Matthew Kupfer (@Matthew_Kupfer) June 19, 2013
Looking at the top 5 friends, the Russian people answered with Belarus, Kazakhstan, China, Ukraine, and Germany. Belarus took the number one place for the 5th running year. According to the poll, another noteworthy ally, coming in at 6th place can be found in Armenia. Armenia remains out of Russia’s top five allies, for most of the Russian districts polled, while 8% named Azerbaijan.
See the map below: Russia’s Top 5 allies & enemies in Eurasia (and EaP countries on the scale…)