Over half of Belarusians prefer a union with Russia over the European Union, but their number has decreased by 9 percentage points over the past year.
The latest data was provided by the Belarusian Analytical Workshop (BAW) which conducted the survey this August.
Replying to a question “In what union of states would it be better for the people of Belarus to live in – the EU or Russia?”, 54.5% of respondents favoured the union with Russia, and 25% – the EU. Slightly over 20% are undecided.
In August 2018, pro-Russian sentiment was up 9 percentage points, and pro-European sentiment was down 5 points.
At the same time, support for a with Russia doesn’t mean that Belarusians want a full merger. Here is how the answers to the question “How would you like to see relations between Belarus and Russia” were distributed:
- 4,9% want closed borders, visas and customs,
- 75,6% want Russia and Belarus to be independent, but friendly countries with an open border, without visas and customs,
- 15,6% support the idea of uniting into a single union state,
- 1.4% were in favour of Belarus joining Russia as a subject of the federation.
The numbers were about the same in 2016 and 2017. Compared to 2017, the number of supporters of Belarus’s accession to Russia fell by 3% and the number of those who want to join a “single union state” increased by the same amount.
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The number of those who consider the annexation of Crimea to Russia to be fair is stable – almost 64% in August this year and 65,7% – two years ago. 16,6% of respondents consider this act to be illegal, it was 13,5% two years ago.
Belarusians are not ready to project the Crimean scenario on their country. Almost 72% consider it is impossible to annex part or the whole Belarus to Russia. Almost 15%, however, consider this option doable.
The BAW representative sample survey included 1,077 people.