V4 Survey: Russia Trusted Most by Slovaks, Least by Poles

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Moscow Kremlin in Russia (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 23 (TASR) – According to a survey carried out on respondents from the Visegrad Four countries (the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia), the V4 country that trusts the USA (27 percent) the least and Russia (31 percent) the most is Slovakia, TASR learnt on Monday.

Conversely, Poles trust the USA (50 percent) the most and Russia (9 percent) the least. Czechs and Hungarians lie somewhere in between with greater trust in the USA (41 and 33 percent, respectively) and lower trust in Russia (16 and 17 percent, respectively).

The higher level of trust among Slovaks in Russia when compared to other V4 countries could be caused by the pro-Russian legacies of certain representatives of the Slovak national revivalist movement in the 19th century (Sturovci) led by Ludovit Stur, by social experience after WWII or by a technological upswing in Slovakia’s agriculture during the Communist era. “Polish distrust in Russia is deeply embedded in past experience and fomented by the current political discourse,” said Olga Gyarfasova from the Public Affairs Institute at a press conference in Bratislava on Monday.

Meanwhile, all V4 countries are relatively highly distrustful of Ukraine, which may well be caused by fears of political instability and threats related to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. A lack of information and other long-term aspects might also be reasons.

When it comes to V4 cooperation, Slovaks are most likely to see this as meaningful (70 percent), followed by Czechs (50 percent), Hungarians (43 percent) and Poles (41 percent). Publicly presented interest in Slovakia’s political representation in V4 cooperation could be responsible for the high figure. People in all V4 countries are most interested in mutual economic and trade cooperation, followed by defence and security and pushing through joint initiatives at the EU level.

The trust shown by V4 countries in each other as well as in other EU states varies. Almost 80 percent of both Czechs and Slovaks trust each other. Next in line in terms of trust among Slovaks are Austrians (49 percent) and Poles (40 percent). Hungarians were in ninth place (30 percent).

Apart from Slovakia, Czechs place the most trust in France (59 percent) followed by Poland, Great Britain and Austria (all 58 percent). Hungarians scored 37 percent.

Poles trust Slovaks (69 percent) the most, followed by Czechs (61 percent) and Hungarians (61 percent), while Hungary is most trusting of Germany (62 percent) followed by Poland (58 percent). Czechs and Slovaks were in joint fourth place on 40 percent.