Become an OC Media Member

Support independent journalism in the Caucasus: Join today

Become a member

Survey suggests 40% of Armenians view Russia as a political threat

13 March 2024
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Official photo.

A new survey commissioned by the International Republican Institute (IRI) has found that 40% of Armenians view Russia as a political threat, behind just Azerbaijan and Turkey.

IRI published the results of their December 2023 polls on Tuesday.

The survey found that 66% of Armenians thought their country’s relations with France were very good, followed by India at 49%; Iran with 30%; the US with 29%; and the EU at 25%.

The results showed that only 31% thought that Armenia–Russian relations were good or very good, a sharp decline from the 87% reported in the IRI’s August 2018 survey.

Tensions between Yerevan and Moscow have been steadily deteriorating since the end of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020, with Armenia seemingly choosing to distance itself from its traditional ally and instead pursuing closer security ties with the West.

According to the survey, Armenians viewed France as their country’s most important political partner, with 61% naming it as one, followed by the United States with 56%, and Iran with 47%.

The survey also found that France was seen as Armenia’s most important security partner, with 50% naming it as one, followed by Iran and the US with 46%.


Russia, which has long been Armenia’s primary source of arms and weaponry, as well as a leading member in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) to which Armenia is party, was given 31%.

The survey found that Armenians viewed Turkey, Russia, and Azerbaijan not only as political threats but also as posing an economic threat to their country, with 54%, 51%, and 50% naming these countries respectively.

Over the past years, Yerevan has been drastically shifting its foreign policy trajectory towards the West, deepening its diplomatic and security ties with countries such as France, and more recently, announcing its interest in applying for EU membership.

[Read more: Armenia’s parliamentary speaker: Armenia should seek EU candidacy]

The survey found that Armenians’ approval of their government’s foreign policy increased from 36% in March 2023 to 45% by December that year.

Asked about the government’s successes during the last six months, 28% of the respondents said that the government had achieved nothing, and 17% responded by saying that they considered Armenia’s shift to a ‘multi-vector’ foreign policy as the country’s biggest success, followed by 14% for the return of POWs held by Azerbaijan, and 10% for the procurement of arms and weaponry.

Domestic policies and concerns

Domestically, only 17% of Armenians chose Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as the country’s most trusted politician, a slight increase from the 14% who did so in IRI’s previous survey in March 2023. The majority, 60% of respondents, stated they trust no one in politics.

The survey also showed that 36% of respondents viewed the government’s handling of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the region’s surrender as its biggest failure during the last six months.

However, 73% of respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with Yerevan’s handling of the influx of refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh. Those dissatisfied cited a lack of housing, lack of information, incorrect and disproportionate distribution of aid, and unemployment.

Of Armenian institutions, the Armed Forces were given the highest approval rating, with 30% stating that they were very satisfied with their work. Armenia’s Parliament had the highest dissatisfaction rate at 47%.

The number of Armenians praising the level of freedom of speech in the country declined, with 54% reporting that they felt freedom of speech was improving, compared to 73% in August 2018.

The survey was conducted by phone by Breavis and included 1,508 respondents. It had a reported margin of error of 2.5%.

Read in Russian on SOVA.News.
Read in Georgian on On.ge.
The website is undergoing scheduled maintenance
This is default text for notification bar