Bashkirova & Partners » Blog » Opinion Polls » Relations between Russia and the United States and Europe in the light of Russian-Chinese relations

Relations between Russia and the United States and Europe in the light of Russian-Chinese relations

Russia, the USA, Europe and China are the most important players on the world stage today. Countries successfully cooperate in different directions, but competition and struggle for leadership is also quite present among these strong and ambitious states defending their interests.

In January 2020, the independent research agency “Bashkirova & Partners” decided to find out how experts assess Russia's relations with the United States and Europe in the light of Russian-Chinese relations. The survey involved 50 respondents, among which analysts and representatives of the executive branch.

The opinions of the interviewed experts were quite divided on this issue. Three main opinion groups were identified: those who believe in positive relations, mainly with Europe (20% of all respondents); almost half of the respondents believe in negative relations especially with the United States and the remaining third were uncertain or  believe that Russian-Chinese relations have no influence.

According to experts, the main Russian priorities in the western direction should be first of all Ukraine, then Belarus and finally the European Union. Russia’s foreign policy should focus on preventing the final transformation of its Ukrainian neighbor into a "strategic base" for the United States. It is also important to restore full-scale trade and economic cooperation with Ukraine. Experts are confident that in the coming decade, the role of the European Union for Russia will also increase, despite the fact that some representatives of the Russian elites believe at the end of the "Euro-centric world" and the shift of the center of gravity of the world economy to Asia.

The experts believe that the optimal though a bit unrealistic, can be a strategic alliance with Europe based on the deal proposed by Putin: the provision of assets to Russia in the distribution networks of European countries in exchange for permission to work in our mining companies.

Experts believe that Russia values current relations with China and will not support the United States in its confrontation with China. Europe needs China even more than it needs Russia, but it is also important for the European Union to have close ties with these countries - after all, only building the Eurasian axis of the EU - Russia - China gives the Old World a chance to survive in a post-Atlantic rather than post-Western world. Due to the fact that the agreement between the Russian Federation and the PRC threatens to turn into tangible losses for Europe, it may serve as a pretext for growing tension on the Brussels-Moscow-Beijing line. The Americans are confident that Moscow and Beijing are going to reshape the entire world order in their own way, while such a right, in their opinion, belongs only to the United States.

A significant number of experts also believe that a tough confrontation with the West and the United States should not be allowed. This is disadvantageous for Russia, because it will divert our resources. And we may be a weaker country in 9-10 years, because if in the past decades we competed primarily with Western European countries, then in 10 years we will compete, but in an even tougher form, with Asian countries, which are rising very quickly.

In any case, there are significant differences between countries on issues of world politics, its content and driving forces, priorities and a desirable model for the future world order. Achieving progress in relations, creating an atmosphere of positive dynamics may finalize this difficult decade of world politics for the countries.

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