RUSSIALINK: “Almost 80% of Belarusians don’t have negative attitude towards EU – poll” – Interfax

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MINSK. July 30 (Interfax) – Belarusian citizens have a positive or neutral attitude in general towards the European Union, according to a poll conducted by the project EU Neighbors East.

Thus, 34% of polled Belarusian citizens described their attitude toward the EU as “positive”, 43% “neutral” and 18% “negative.”

Respondents’ positive associations with the EU are human rights (67%), freedom of religion (69%), freedom of media (66%), individual freedom (66%), and democracy in general (64%).

A half of the population describes relations between Belarus and the EU as “fairly good” (46%) and “very good” (4%).

Forty-four percent of Belarusian respondents are aware that the EU provides financial assistance to the country. At the same time, over 60% of those polled are convinced that Russia provides bigger financial support and 22% believe that support from the EU and Russia is equal.

According to the poll, Belarusians trust their government (58%), religious leaders (51%), and the parliament (48%). Forty-four percent of those polled do not trust regional and local authorities and over a half (54%) do not trust political parties.

In addition, over 40% of Belarusian citizens are “pleased with” (39%) or “very pleased with” (3%) the way how democracy works in Belarus.

According to the majority of the populations, democratic values apply to Belarus as well. In particular, 75% of the citizens believe that in the country women and men are equal, the rule of law prevails (65%), human rights are respected (60%), media are free (55%), elections are free and fair (54%), the judicial system is independent (54%), and minorities’ rights are protected (53%).

According to the poll, 45% of Belarusians are optimistic about the country’s future.

Respondents named low wages and pensions (60%) and unemployment (55%) among pressing issues in the country.