VTSIOM: Russians consider Belarus a friend, but against the discount on gas for her


RIA Novosti

The majority of Russians perceive Belarus as a friendly country and partner, but are against the sale of her energy at below market price. These are the findings of a survey conducted by the all-Russia centre of studying of public opinion (VTSIOM) on the topics of attitude of Russians to Belarus, her sales of Russian oil and gas visa-free regime.

For equality for all

According to the results of the study available to TASS, more than half of Russian citizens (56%) do not consider it necessary to offer discounts to oil and gas allied States, even in exchange for support from their side, the opposite opinion is shared by 38% of Russians. The greatest number of supporters point of view on equal prices for all (64%) of respondents from 45 to 59 years, the lowest (44%) is among young people 18 to 24 years.

As for the gas supplies from Russia to Belarus, 60% of respondents oppose the sale of energy resources at below market price. For comparison, in 2011 the figure was only slightly less – 57%. I agree to supply at reduced prices about a third of respondents (32% in 2011 and 34% at present). “Taking into account information about the debt of the Belarusian side to Gazprom (at the beginning of January – about $340 million), the share of opponents of energy supplies at reduced prices rises to 69 per cent,” the release reads polls.

Strangers here do not go?

Another aspect of the study concerned the border regime between Russia and Belarus and Minsk abolition of visas for citizens of 80 countries, allowing them freely to enter the territory of the Russian Federation. In these conditions, consider more than three quarters of our fellow citizens (78%), Russia should introduce a visa regime with the state-neighbor to not let in the territory of the “unknown people who have not received put the Russian visa.”

Only 16% of respondents, choosing from three possible response options (save, cancel visa-free regime and found it difficult to answer), called for the preservation of the border between Russia and Belarus only as a formality.

At the same time, most of our compatriots belong to Belarus positive: 40 percent see it as a friendly state, 35% as trading and economic partner, and 9% described as a strategic partner. Only 4% consider Belarus a competitor 3% – opponent.

Different generations

According to the head of the Department of research VTSIOM Stepan Lvov, the essence of the position taken by the majority of Russians in relation to the immediate neighbors and partners, best reflects the popular proverb “friendship is Friendship, snuff apart”. “Despite the support of integration processes in the post-Soviet space in General and with Belarus in particular, to sacrifice the economic benefits of their own state, the Russians do not intend to. The partnership now does not involve the fraternal aid, and provides strict attitude to the parity of deals,” he said.

Lions notes that “for such “strictness” are the representatives of the older generation, I found the heyday of the “friendship of peoples”, while young people are familiar with yoga, demonstrates “the breadth of nature”. “Will there be with the change of generations change on the value level in relations with the fraternal peoples, time will tell and scenarios for the development of these relations”, – says the sociologist.

As the survey was conducted

The initiative Russian opinion poll was conducted by VCIOM on February 8-9, 2017 method of telephone interview based on a stratified random sample of dibasic landline and mobile numbers with a volume of 1,200 respondents. For a given sample size the maximum error with 95% probability does not exceed 3.5%.