Estonia seventh in the yearly Russia’s “enemies” list

Estonia has “improved” its standing as one of the most important “enemies” of Russia, having positioned seventh in 2017 – two notches up from last year.

The friends and enemies’ lists are compiled every year by the Levada Centre polling agency and are based on public opinion. The poll asks respondents to name five countries that are, in their opinion, the friendliest towards Russia, and then another five that are the most hostile. The Levada Centre titles the list as “The ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ of Russia”.

In both 2016 and 2017, 16 per cent of the respondents named Estonia among their pick of the five “enemies”; however, last year Estonia placed ninth – and this year seventh. It’s not the “best” position for Estonia in the Russia’s enemies’ list as in 2007, the country topped the list with 60 per cent of the poll’s respondents naming Estonia as a hostile country – making the tiny state of 1.3 million the biggest enemy of the Russian Federation.

This year’s list is topped by the United States (69%), Ukraine (50%), Germany, Latvia and Lithuania (all 24%). The sixth most hostile enemy, according to the people, is Poland (21%).

After Estonia comes the United Kingdom (15%), Georgia (9%) and France (8%).

The top 10 has somewhat changed compared with 2016 when the top ten was: the United States, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, the UK, Estonia and Georgia.

The Levada Centre also compiles lists of the friendliest countries towards Russia, using the same method. According to the average Russian, the friendliest countries are Belarus, Kazakhstan and China.

The 20 countries most hostile towards Russia throughout the years (percentage of respondents naming the country):

  2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1. The US 37 35 45 26 33 35 38 69 73 72 69
2. Ukraine 27 23 41 13 20 15 11 30 37 48 50
3. Germany 2 2 3 1 4 3 3 18 19 19 24
4. Latvia 46 36 35 36 35 26 21 23 25 23 24
5. Lithuania 42 32 35 35 34 25 17 24 25 23 24
6. Poland 7 20 10 14 20 8 8 12 22 24 21
7. Estonia 28 60 30 28 30 23 16 21 19 16 16
8. The UK 5 3 8 6 8 7 9 18 21 18 15
9. Georgia 44 46 62 57 50 41 33 19 11 10 9
10. France 1 1 1 <1 1 1 2 5 7 4 8
11. Turkey 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 29 8
12. Japan 4 3 3 3 9 6 7 5 6 5 6
13. Syria <1 <1 <1 <1 1 2 3 1 1 3 4
14. Canada 1 <1 1 <1 1 1 1 7 8 6 3
15. Afghanistan 12 11 7 14 15 8 10 5 4 2 3
16. Iraq 9 8 5 9 9 8 7 3 2 2 3
17. Romania 2 2 3 3 3 1 2 2 3 2 2
18. Saudi Arabia 1 <1 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 2
19. China 3 3 4 4 4 5 1 <1 1 2
20. Iran 7 7 3 7 7 7 5 2 2 2 2

The 20 countries most friendly towards Russia throughout the years (percentage of respondents naming the country):

  2006 2007 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
1. Belarus 47 38 50 49 35 34 46 51 55 50 46
2. China 24 19 18 16 18 16 20 40 43 34 39
3. Kazakhstan 33 39 38 32 33 28 31 37 41 39 34
4. Syria 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 4 2 10 15
5. India 15 14 12 14 16 9 7 13 18 18 14
6. Armenia 14 15 15 15 11 11 12 15 18 13 12
7. Cuba 8 11 10 13 8 9 10 14 10 11
8. Uzbekistan 6 6 9 5 7 5 5 6 8 9 9
9. Tajikistan 3 7 9 4 5 4 5 8 7 6 9
10. Azerbaijan 7 5 10 8 9 9 8 9 11 7 9
11. Kyrgyzstan 7 7 9 4 6 5 5 6 10 7 8
12. Moldova 4 4 5 5 4 4 6 7 2 2 8
13. Turkey 3 3 4 5 7 4 5 4 8 1 6
14. Serbia 4 3 5 5 4 4 3 5 8 6 5
15. Iran 4 3 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 4
16. Vietnam 4 4
17. Bulgaria 10 9 9 8 9 7 10 8 4 4 4
18. Japan 6 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 2 5 4
19. Georgia 3 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 3 2 4
20.Turkmenistan 2 8 5 1 3 2 2 3 4 2 4

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Cover: The Russian bear (the image is illustrative.)

About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at sten@estonianworld.com.