By Hrach Melkumian in Prague
Armenia has the largest perception of Russia as a friendly country in the whole post-Soviet territory, according to the latest surveys in today’s 15 independent states of the former USSR.
The polls conducted by the All-Russian Center of Public Opinion Studies attempted to gauge public sentiments in former Soviet republics regarding their former allied nations that they view as most friendly to them now and that they might want to form a union with in the future.
According to the results of the studies, 82 percent of citizens in Armenia view Russia as a friendly state, with 16 percent naming Georgia and one percent naming Azerbaijan.
Only 67 percent of Armenians, however, support Armenia’s forming a union with Russia, while 23 percent see no necessity for that.
In neighboring Azerbaijan, 39 percent find none of the former Soviet republics, including the Baltic states, are friendly to Azerbaijan. Twenty-one percent of Azerbaijani respondents find that Georgia is a friend, while 20 percent view Ukraine as a friendly nation. More than 30 percent of respondents in Azerbaijan support their country’s joining Turkey and nearly a fourth supports Azerbaijan’s accession to the European Union. Armenia gets no mention as a friendly country in the polls conducted in Azerbaijan, which is the only zero in the whole polls tables.
A majority of Georgians, nearly 70 percent, consider Ukraine as a friendly state, followed by Azerbaijan and Baltic states. Armenia is viewed as a friendly state by 15 percent of Georgians.
Meanwhile, Belarus is viewed as the friendliest country by 48 percent of citizens in Russia. One in three Russians also mention Ukraine and Kazakhstan as friends. Only 18 percent of Russian citizens view Armenia as a friend to their country. In contrast, the three Baltic republics, including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, are perceived as the least friendly states in Russia, with each receiving only 4 percent of responses.