Serbia poll: 30% see Russia as ally, 68% refuse joining of NATO

Vladimir Putin at the meeting with Serbian President-elect Tomislav Nikolic | President of Russia

A report has been published by the Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies (CEAS), showing that 30% of the Public opinion in Serbia believes that Serbia should get closer to Russia and through alliance with Russia it will be able to protect its internal and external security, while only 7% thought getting close to the US would secure such conditions.

The survey, which was conducted between October and November 2018, was carried out by the Centre for Free Elections and Democracy, in cooperation with CEAS over a sample of around 1,010 citizens of Serbia.

In the view point of the surveilled, the best way to protect Serbia from Security challenges in the future is to remain neutral and take care of its own security, which constituted 60% of the opinion. Meanwhile, 30% thought Serbia should become closer to Russia while only 7% thought it was in Serbia’s interest to have closer ties with the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised its regional partner Serbia more investment and stronger defense ties during a visit last week. A large delegation had traveled from Moscow with Putin to sign a raft of deals in energy, foreign policy, and infrastructure development.

The participants in the survey believed that through alliance with Russia, Serbia can protect its internal and external security. On Serbia’s accession to the EU, 36% they would not vote for its joining if it take place, while 47% said they would and 17% abstained from voting.

As for Serbia joining the NATO, a majority of 68% said they would not want their country to join the multinational forces. Out of these, 47% said that they would not encourage Serbia to join NATO because it bombed Serbia, and another 14% and 9% said respectively because Serbia does not need NATO and that it is an aggressive organization and people should not support it of fight for its interests.

Also, according to the poll, 63% believed that Kosovo is independent and Serbia should accept this situation and turn to the future. As a final note, the participants see that the support of Russia is relevant in international relations.