Press release №2327
06.04.2021
RUSSIA AND POLAND: RIVALS OR FRIENDS?

IN BRIEF

  • 42% of Poles and 40% of Russians consider that their countries must be allies
  • Most of Poles believe that Russians have positive perceptions of Poland
  • According to Russians and Poles, the attitudes of the Russian leaders towards Poland and the attitudes of the Polish leaders towards Russia are largely unfavorable.

MOSCOW, March 24, 2021. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of surveys describing how Russians and Poles view the Russia-Poland relations.  

 

Russians think that the current Russia-Poland relations are plateauing. Today there are neither positive nor negative changes. In 2020, pessimism was expressed by 59% of Poles (56% in 2014) and 39% of Russians (38% in 2014).

Despite mutually pessimistic assessments of the Polish-Russian relations, most of Poles and Russians believe that both countries should perceive one another as an ally (42% of Poles, 40% of Russians) and as a friend (22% and 28, respectively). Another one-quarter of Poles consider that the bilateral relations must be competitive (24%); Russians are less likely to support this stance (16%). Hostility is not popular either with Poles (5%) or with Russians (8%).

What are the attitudes of the leadership and the population of different countries towards Russia?

Almost one-third of Russians consider that the attitudes of the Polish leaders towards Russia are largely favorable (29%). Since 2014, there has been an upward trend (+5 p.p.). The countries most favorably disposed towards Russia are Belarus (90%) and China (87%); Ukraine and the U.S.A. are the countries with the most unfavorable views of Russia.

The public perceptions across various countries towards Russia are, as usual, more positive than the perceptions of the leaders. According to the Russian survey, the perceptions of the Polish population towards Russia have not charged over six years (48% of positive views in 2020 and 49% in 2014). The friendliest attitudes towards Russians are expressed by Belarusians (94%) and Chinese (90%).

Views of other countries and their populations towards Poland  

According to 22% of Poles, the attitudes of the Russian leaders towards Poland are likely or very likely friendly. Since 2014, the share of positive views has increased by 5 percentage points (from 17% to 22%). Compared to other countries, the countries holding positive views are primarily the Czech Republic (93%) and the U.S.A. (91%).

As to the public perceptions of Poland, the Polish survey showed positive changes compared to the 2014 findings: in 2014, 46% of Poles thought that Russians had favorable views of Poland, but today this share reached 71%. The populations with positive views toward Poland are Americans and the Czechs (92-93%).

The study was commissioned by the Center for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding in December, 2020. The Russian nationwide survey involved 1,600 respondents aged 18 and older. Method: telephone interview using dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of Russian landline and mobile phone numbers. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics.  The margin of error at a 95% confidence level did not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes to the wording of questions and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork may introduce bias into the survey.

The Polish survey was telephone-based and involved 1,000 respondents. Stratified random sampling was used; the margin of error was 3.1%  

Can you assess the relations between Poland and Russia , using the 1-5 scale, with 1 being “very bad” and 5 being “prefect” (% of the Polish respondents, one answer)
  2012 2014 2020
1 – very bad relations 11 26 26
2 29 30 33
3 47 34 33
4 7 9 6
5 – perfect relations 1 1 1
Don’t know 5 0 1
Can you assess the relations between Poland and Russia, using the 1-5 scale, with 1 being “very bad” and 5 being “prefect”  (% of the Russian respondents, one answer)
  2012 2014 2020
1 - very bad relations 2 12 18
2 12 26 21
3 53 39 39
4 25 10 13
5 - perfect relations 4 2 5
Don’t know 4 11 4
There are different opinions on what kind of relations there should be between Russia and Poland. In your opinion, should Russia/Poland treat Russia/Poland …? (% of the Polish and Russian respondents, one answer)  
  Survey among Russians Survey among Poles
As an enemy 8 5
As a competitor 16 24
As an ally 40 42
As a friend 28 22
Don’t know 8 7
Please assess the attitudes of the following countries, their leaders towards Poland: friendly or unfriendly  (sum of answers “very friendly” and “rather friendly”) (% of the Polish respondents, one answer)
  2012 2014 2020
Belarus 91 83 93
USA 80 85 91
Ukraine 61 75 79
China 77 71 77
Germany 80 82 73
Belarus 28 54 39
Russia 20 17 22
Please assess the attitudes of the following countries, their leaders towards Russia: friendly or unfriendly   (sum of answers “very friendly” and “rather friendly”) (% of the Russian respondents, one answer)
  2012 2014 2020
Belarus 66 86 90
China 75 89 87
Czech Republic 71 56 64
Germany 77 34 59
Poland 46 24 29
USA 32 6 16
Ukraine 54 11 12
Please assess the attitudes of the ordinary citizens, residents of the following countries towards Poland: friendly or unfriendly (sum of answers “very friendly” and “rather friendly”) (% of the Polish respondents, one answer)
  2012 2014 2020
Belarusians 89 88 93
Czechs 89 83 92
Chinese 85 79 89
Belarusians 70 71 88
Ukrainians 70 75 81
Germans 72 78 75
Russians 61 46 71
Please assess the attitudes of the ordinary citizens, residents of the following countries towards Russia: friendly or unfriendly (sum of answers “very friendly” and “rather friendly”)  (% of the Russian respondents, one answer)
  2012 2014 2020
Belarusians 87 88 94
Chinese 76 89 90
Czechs 75 72 78
Germans 74 63 77
Ukrainians 71 40 50
Americans 47 34 49
Poles  55 49 48

Note: Using materials from the site www.wciom.ru or wciom.com, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory.

 

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