The French Institute of Public Opinion (Ifop), one of the oldest companies that do public surveys, has conducted an opinion poll at Sputnik’s behest, to evaluate how many citizens in the UK, France, Germany and Poland believe Russia belongs to Europe.
Ifop interviewed a total of 3,228 respondents aged 18 years old or older in the UK, France, Germany and Poland, asking them a single question: “In your opinion, does Russia belong to Europe?”
The vast majority of respondents in France (65%) and the UK (52%) and almost half of Germans (46%) believed that Russia doesn’t belong to Europe, while only 20% of Poles responded similarly.
At the same time 49% of Germans and 77% of Poles felt that Russia does belong to Europe. According to the 2017 polls by the Körber foundation more Germans answered positively (56%) a year ago, while far less Poles did the same (57%).
It is noteworthy that older people (35+) and those with a higher level of education more often answered the question favorably. Many Parisians considered Russia a part of Europe more often than those living in the provinces (37% versus 27%). Germans living in Eastern Germany answered positively 59% of the time, in comparison to 47% by Western Germans.
The relations between Russia and the European Union have rapidly deteriorated since 2014 after the Ukrainian crisis and the reunification of the Crimea with Russia as the result of a popular referendum. In a retaliatory measure the bloc imposed sanctions on Russia, while Moscow imposed a tit-for-tat food embargo on several EU food products.