By K. KHODANIAN

The International Republican Institut has released its latest public opinion survey, revealing a continued decline in Russia’s favorability among the people of Armenia, a traditional ally.

Before delving into Russia’s situation, it’s crucial to note the diminishing popularity of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, as indicated by the survey. Presently, only 17 percent of Armenians express trust in the Prime Minister, followed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan (5%) and Republic Party leader Aram Sargsyan (4%). Opposition leader Roperd Kocharian garners a mere 2 percent rating. A staggering 60 percent of respondents express distrust in all political figures.
When asked whom they would vote for if elections were held this Sunday, 20 percent of participants indicated support for the ruling party, with approximately 5 percent backing factions aligned with previous administrations.

On a positive note, the survey highlights optimism among the majority of Armenians regarding the nation’s future and a willingness to endorse the government’s efforts to aid displaced individuals from Artsakh.

Turning to Russia, a significant 66 percent of Armenians express negative sentiments toward the country, a notable increase from 49 percent recorded a year prior. Russia now ranks third among perceived threats to Armenia, trailing behind Azerbaijan and Turkey. This shift in sentiment can be attributed to Moscow’s perceived missteps in its regional policies, eroding the support of its sole dependable ally in the area—the “pro-Russian” Armenian society.

Presently, Russian media and political circles are engaged in a propaganda campaign against Armenia, accusing its government of acting against Russian interests. However, Yerevan asserts its right to prioritize its national interests, particularly in securing its borders from external threats. When Russia declined to arm the Armenian military, Armenia rightfully sought alternative partnerships with countries like India and France to bolster its defense capabilities. Furthermore, Armenia’s decision to freeze its CSTO membership reflects dissatisfaction with the alliance’s failure to fulfill its obligations toward Armenia.

Compounding these issues is the complete depopulation of Artsakh, where Russian peacekeeping forces are seen as complicit in enabling Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian initiatives through inaction.

Statements like those made by Moscow’s top propagandist, Margarita Simonyan, predicting Armenia’s demise within five years, only exacerbate tensions and widen the rift between the two nations.

Disillusionment with Russia is noticeable within Armenian society, a sentiment likely reinforced by this latest survey. If Moscow fails to acknowledge its missteps and recognize its allies, instead of cozying up to supposed friends in Turkey and Azerbaijan, it risks further alienating Armenia and its people, potentially leading to long-term damage in relations between the two nations.
“MASSIS”

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