Russians see Kazakhstan as most reliable CIS partner - poll

Map of CIS European StatesMoscow, 13 December: Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has topped the list of CIS member states' leaders who are most trusted by the Russians (32 per cent) according to a poll that was carried out by the VTsIOM All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre in 46 regions of the Russian Federation on 23 and 24 October.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (17 per cent), whose rating significantly exceeds Viktor Yushchenko's results from last year (3 per cent), has occupied the second place. Conversely, the position of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has decreased from 33 per cent to 16 per cent.

The above are followed by the below presidents: Azerbaijan's Ilham Aliyev (5 per cent), Armenia's Serzh Sargsyan (4 per cent), Uzbekistan's Islom Karimov, Kyrgyzstan's Roza Otunbayeva and Turkmenistan's Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow (2 per cent each). Moldovan, Tajik and Georgian presidents Mihai Ghimpu, Emomali Rahmon and Mikheil Saakashvili are trusted by 1 per cent of the Russians each.

Map of CIS Central Asian StatesAccording to the poll, Russians consider Kazakhstan to be the most reliable partner from among the CIS countries (37 per cent compared to 31 per cent in 2009). On the contrary, Belarus, which was leading last year, was mentioned significantly less frequently (23 per cent compared to 43 per cent). In turn, Ukraine rose to the third place in a record manner (from last year's 4 per cent to 21 per cent).

The remaining CIS countries are mentioned much less frequently: Armenia (6 per cent), Moldova (4 per cent), Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan (3 per cent each), Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan (2 per cent each), Georgia and Tajikistan (1 per cent each).

Russians believe that, on the whole, Kazakshtan is the most stable and successful country in the CIS (34 per cent compared to 29 per cent in 2009). Belarus, which was leading last year (31 per cent compared to 41 per cent) has occupied the second place. The troika of leaders is completed by Ukraine, which has had a record in terms of improving its position in the rating during the entire period of the study (from last year's 5 per cent to 19 per cent). They are followed by Armenia (9 per cent), Azerbaijan (6 per cent); Moldova and Turkmenistan (5 per cent each); Uzbekistan and Georgia (3 per cent each). Russians believe that Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have become the least stable countries (2 per cent and 1 per cent of the votes respectively).

Asked about in which CIS country the rights of the Russian-speaking population are secured at a greater extent, the respondents chose Belarus (27 per cent), Kazakhstan (21 per cent) and Ukraine (17 per cent).

This indicator more than halved for Belarus compared to 2009, when it constituted 48 per cent (figure as published). As for Ukraine, it rose in its position, compared to the indicators for previous years (6 per cent in 2009). This indicator does not exceed 5 per cent for other CIS countries.

Regarding the level of humanitarian interest to the CIS member states, Russians are most interested in the culture and history of Ukraine and Belarus (15 per cent each) as well as Kazakhstan (14 per cent). The heritage of Armenia (12 per cent) and Moldova (10) are also of interest.

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