Francesca Moll in London -
Just one in ten Russians believe their country should cooperate with Nato, according to a recent survey by the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (WCIOM).
A preference for Eastern-led organisations emerged from the study, in which a majority of Russians (54%) believe that cooperation with the BRICS nations (which also include Brazil, India, China and South Africa) is the most beneficial for Russia. The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) was the next most popular option, at 36%. By contrast, only 11% believe that Russia should work more closely with Nato, and 19% would like to see closer ties with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
This is reflected in how these organisations are perceived by respondents. 53% view the BRICS positively, while PACE trails behind in Russian sympathies at 17%, while 46% explicitly disapprove.
In the wake of the latest BRICS summit in the Russian city of Ufa, this survey suggests that alternative political and economic groupings are gaining legitimacy disproportionate to the Western media attention that they receive. But Western-led economic groupings such as the G7 and G8 continue to dominate the international political scene in the minds of many.
29% reacted favourably to the G20, but this is only 2pp more than those who expressed the opposite opinion. Negative views outweighed the positive when it came to the G7 and G8, at 37% and 27%, respectively.
Very different answers emerge when asked about current political realities, though. The G7/G8 and the World Trade Organization (WTO) are seen as the most powerful international players, with 46% and 44% of those surveyed thinking they had a strong influence on world affairs.
The BRICS group and the G20 are seen as less influential, with only 38% and 37% thinking they had a significant impact. This is still greater than the number that view these organisations as weak – 29% for BRICS and 25% for the G20.
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