Generous economic support of Russia, the formation of Common Economic Space of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as economic benefits derived from the CES have led to a significant increase in pro-Russian moods in Belarus.
According to a survey of the Independent Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies (IISEPS), the level of moods in favor of integration with Russia in March 2012 has been actually the highest in the last 5 years.
Answering the question "If you had to choose between integration with Russia and EU membership, what would you choose?", 47% of respondents preferred the east direction. In December 2011 41.4% of Belarusians had this opinion.
According to the survey, the sharpness of economic crisis in Belarus has declined markedly, and this facilitating the public opinion could attribute to Russian assistance, IISEPS experts conclude.
In addition, the acute political and diplomatic conflict between the official Minsk and the EU and even it is restrained, but the support of Belarus from the Russian side in this conflict could also swing the scales of public sympathies towards Moscow. In the March survey the growth of the supporters of integration with Russia was accompanied by a slight decrease in pro-European moods. Thus, the EU today was chosen by 37.3% of respondents - against 39.1% in last December.
The survey results show that a relative majority - 32.4% of respondents assessed penalties negatively, which the EU has already imposed on Minsk and which are planned in the future. However, the conflict has not yet spawned a sharp drop in pro-European moods.
Note. In March 2012 the independent sociologists conducted a national survey of public opinion (by face-to-face interview 1509 persons of 18 years and older were interviewed, the maximum error of representativeness does not exceed 0.03). We present you the commentaries on the most interesting and important results.