Public opinion polls reveal how Russians feel among other people of the world, and where is Russia’s position in the world, compared to other countries.
Russian geographers used poll results to understand how Russians feel about their country and the rest of the world. There are plenty of parameters, which are used by politicians and geographers to identify a country’s position: trading, migration, various types of communicating with the rest of the world, etc. Position of our country inside these communications, links and flow makes Russia a European country. In 2010 European Union had nearly 50% of Russia’s international trade. Investments, which came from abroad, also originated mainly from Europe. Finally, major part of Russian oil was exported to European countries.
Russians mainly went abroad to Europe – either for sightseeing, or for permanent residence. Countries, which Russian people liked to visit the most, were Germany, Finland, Italy and France. Egypt and Turkey, as well as CIS countries were excluded from the results of the poll.
As for what Russians think they belong to Europe or Asia, there was no unique opinion on this subject. Pools revealed that 70% of Russians couldn’t say they were just Europeans, however, about 45% believed they belonged more to Europe than to Asia, or Asia shared equal part of a Russian dweller’s soul with Europe.
Most friendly countries are Finland and India, Russian dwellers think. As for Russia as a nice place for living one’s life in, our country is on 166th among 256 countries of the world, having overborne Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia due to armed conflicts in these countries and dominating religion. Other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States also aren’t very popular among other people of the world.
Meanwhile, young Russians don’t like the idea to Slavonic unity anymore – they consider Russia to be an autonomous unit of a multipolar world. From the cultural point of view, Russia is no more linked with Baltic States, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, according to polls.
Russian is a boiling pot of nationalities, and, of course, people from different regions have different opinions for Russia’s position in surrounding world. However, luckily for our multinational country these differences are not dramatic enough.
Source: Science & Life