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Russians' View Of Countries Posing Nuclear Threat Changes - Poll


During the last three years, the opinion of Russians about the countries which present a threat for Russia of the use of weapons of mass destruction has changed, sociologists' research shows.

In this way, citizens have begun to point more often to the danger coming from Chechen terrorists (an increase from 41 per cent to 46 per cent), the USA (from 37 to 38 per cent), China (from 12 to 20 per cent), North Korea (from 11 to 18 per cent), Iran (from 10 to 15 per cent) and Pakistan (from six to 10 per cent), experts from VTsIOM (All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre) told Interfax today according to the results of an all-Russian survey.

In contrast, according to their data, those who expect threats on the part of Al-Qa'idah have become somewhat fewer (24 per cent against 27 per cent) and the proportion of those who fear other terrorist groups and states significantly decreased (2 per cent against 25 per cent in 2006). At the same time, citizens began to express more rarely the confidence that in this respect no state threatens Russia (10 per cent against 14 per cent).

In comparison with 2006, the proportion of Russians sure of the need to isolate countries developing nuclear weapons from the world community increased (from 47 to 52 per cent). They are opposed by 31 per cent of respondents, who believe that other countries have the same right to develop nuclear weapons as the USA, Russia, China and others; therefore, there is no need to conduct any special policy in relation to those who created an atomic bomb (in 2006, 34 per cent were of this opinion).

According to VTsIOM's data, in three years the proportion of Russians who believe that the appearance of nuclear weapons for North Korea is a threat to the country's national interests increased from 41 to 47 per cent. In contrast, those who do not see any danger in this for Russia decreased (36 per cent against 44 per cent).

Russians, as before, believe that the nuclear threat on the part of North Korea is aimed, first of all, against the USA; however, in three years, the proportion of such respondents decreased from 29 to 23 per cent. In contrast, respondents said twice as often that the appearance of nuclear weapons in this country poses a danger for Russia (14 per cent against 9 per cent in 2006); 8 per cent pointed to Japan, 6 per cent each to China and South Korea and 1 per cent each to countries of the Middle East and South Asia.

Two per cent are sure that the nuclear threat on the part of North Korea is aimed against the whole world; a further 16 per cent believe that there are no such countries. However, 41 per cent of respondents had difficulty in expressing their opinion.

The poll was conducted at the initiative of VTsIOM on 18-19 July in 140 localities in 42 regions, territories and republics of Russia.

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