The Russians want to live in Europe, but do not wish to follow its norms and values, hopes to improve relations with the West, but disapprove of their government

According to the survey, “Levada Center”, published December 2, 75 percent of Russians want their country to improve relations with Western countries, 70 percent are willing to improve relations with Ukraine. At the same time the country’s leaders, in their opinion, nothing should to do. About 65 percent sure that the Kremlin should continue to follow the current policy. This and other paradoxes specifically for DWobyasnil sociologist “Levada Center” Denis Volkov.

DW: On the one hand, three-quarters of Russians consider necessary to improve relations with the West with Ukraine, but believe that Russia should continue its policy - how can you explain this?

Denis Volkov: In fact, this is due, I think, is simple enough, judging by the results of the focus groups. Indeed, the majority believes that it is necessary to cooperate with the West on Syria and other issues. But this cooperation, they say, does not work - not because we do not want, and because the West does not want to. There is a kind of shifting the blame on the West, and partly because there is a failure to understand why the West is so (to Russia. - Ed.). Not everyone wants to bind the actions of the West that Russia has made the Crimea to bypass international obligations. I would not say that people do not understand, but they do not want to think about why the other party does so, as it arrives.

In the mass consciousness has the understanding that the need to establish relations to make concessions. But the concessions do not want to, because in part, in violation of rules, Russia argued that acquires the status of a great power again. If we begin to restore the relationship, then we lose something, that status, they think.

- As the desire to establish relations linked with the moods, for example, that Ukraine and NATO - Russia’s enemies who should be afraid?

- Here, on the one hand, there is that in the minds of many NATO - individually, USA - separately, EU - separately, the West - the same as if it were two different things. Not always, when one talks about NATO, he knows exactly which countries are part of this alliance. NATO has always been the attitude is uniquely bad, and the ratio of the EU deteriorated sharply after the war of sanctions. This can be described as follows: we want to be part of Europe, but did not want to follow the rules and regulations that are adopted in Europe.

4 December 2015

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