Almost a Quarter of Russians Supported Unification with Belarus
The share of respondents who do not consider the country a great power in 2018 also reached a historic low of 23%. Now it began to grow again and amounted to 26%. Most of the respondents believed that Russia cannot be called a great power, in 2005 - then 30% thought so, 67% did not share this point of view.
Most Russians are interested in economic rather than political integration with Belarus as their closest neighbor, Pozhalov notes. “The Russians are experiencing a long-drawn-out conflict with Ukraine, over time they are better aware of the costs of the sanctions regime against Russia and for the most part they are hardly ready to sacrifice their internal development for the sake of political integration and priority support for the neighbor’s economy”, he said.
Lukashenko has demonstrated with all his recent actions that he is building a nation-state and is not ready to unite the two countries, the Expert notes.