TBILISI, DFWatch–The number of people who think Russia is a real and existing threat to Georgia has increased by 14 percent compared to November.
This is one of the findings in the latest survey of public attitudes by the National Democratic Institute, which was published on Monday.
50 percent of Georgians consider Russia a real and existing threat to Georgia. 32 percent think Russia is a threat, although exaggerated. 13 percent do not consider Russia a threat at all. The rest answer that they don’t know.
74 percent are dissatisfied with Georgia’s current relations with Russia, 17 percent are satisfied, the rest say they don’t know.
77 percent of respondents support the government’s stated goal to join the EU, 11 percent are against, the rest don’t know. 72 percent supports the goal to join NATO, 15 percent are against, the rest don’t know.
65 percent agree or very strongly agree that Georgia should join the EU; 16 percent agree or very strongly agree that Georgia should join the Eurasian Union proposed by Russia; 4 percent don’t agree with any of these goals, the rest say they don’t know.
58 percent agree or strongly agree that Georgia will benefit more from being integrated with Europe, but 20 percent says Georgia will benefit more if it abandons integration with Europe in favor of better relations with Russia. 4 percent don’t agree with any of these goals, the rest say they don’t know.
At the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is ready to meet with his Georgian counterpart Giorgi Margvelashvili if the latter is willing to. Margvelashvili said Georgia will discuss this proposal, but if the meeting takes place they will have to discuss painful issues and the meeting should not be a repetition of what happens at the regular talks between Georgian and Russian diplomats in Prague.
72 percent approve of the Georgian government’s decision to consider such a meeting, 12 percent disapprove, the rest say they don’t know.
46 percent are satisfied with the Georgian government’s response to the installation of barbed wires and fences by Russians in villages bordering with South Ossetia. 33 percent are dissatisfied, the rest don’t know.
NDI questioned 3 942 people from March 26 to April 18 and the average margin of error is +/- 2.1 percent. The political ratings part will be published on May 8.