Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Pro-EU sentiments growing in Belarus

Pro-European sentiments are growing, while pro-Russian sentiments are becoming less popular in Belarus, the Independent Institute for Social, Economic and Political Studies said with reference to its opinion poll conducted in September.

When asked to choose between accession to the European Union and a merger with Russia, 42.7 percent of the interviewed Belarusians checked the former and 38.3 percent the latter.

As many as 44 percent said that they would vote for Belarus’ accession to the European Union in a referendum, while 32.8 percent noted that they would vote against.

Slightly more than 39 percent said that they would vote for a merger between Belarus and Russia, while 40.6 percent said that they would vote against.

More than 71 percent of the respondents had a good attitude to Russia.

Over 41 percent of those expressing readiness to vote for an opposition candidate said that they would prefer a candidate "who would improve our country’s relations both with Europe and Russia to the same extent."

Nearly half of the respondents blamed the 2008 brief war between Russia and Georgia on the latter, while 11.1 percent held the converse opinion. Over 63 percent welcomed Russia’s decision to recognize Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, while 46.8 percent said that Belarus should follow suit.