Czechs mostly perceive Russia as a security threat to the Czech Republic. This follows from the poll released by the research agency Median for Czech Radio.
The agency has recently conducted a survey in connection with the deterioration of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
1037 respondents over 18 years old took part in a canvass, which took place this week on Monday and Tuesday. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means no threat and 10 means a huge threat, they rated the risk Russia posed to the Czech Republic with an average of 6.4.
Almost a fifth of those polled believed Russia posed a grave peril. 10 percent of interviewees, on the contrary, were convinced it did not constitute a threat at all.
The former were primarily represented by people from large cities or ODS voters (Civil Democratic Party), whereas the latter were comprised of KSČM voters (Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia).
One-fifth of people who do not consider Russia a threat are over 60 years old. “At the same time, respondents in this age group maintain the most hostile attitude towards Russia, both in the perception of the country as a minimal threat and a huge threat,” Czech Radio notes.
According to Přemysl Čech, Median agency director, this is arguably related to the fact that they remember the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops. “A strong memory of what happened here in 1968 lingers among older people,” he said.
After the emergence of reasonable suspicion of the involvement of Russian secret services in the explosion in Vrbětice, Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček declared that the government no longer counted on the participation of the Russian company Rosatom in the impending tender for the completion of the Dukovany Nuclear Power Station.
Respondents were asked to evaluate this step by the Czech government. An overwhelming majority of those surveyed – 65% – supported the exclusion of Rosatom from the tender, compared with 27% who spoke against it. Former were mainly residents of large cities with higher education.
For the most part, those who rejected the expulsion of Rosatom also stated that Russia posed no threat to the Czech Republic.