Prague, Czech Republic – A majority of Czechs see Russia as a “security threat” to their country, a new survey has found as the two countries are embroiled in a growing diplomatic dispute.
According to a poll by the Median Agency for Czech Radio, 40% of Czechs consider Russia as a serious security threat and nearly a fifth of them consider it a huge threat to their country’s security.
People living in bigger cities and supporters of the right-wing ODS opposition party were more likely to label Russia a threat, according to the pollsters.
Around 10% of Czechs do not consider Russia a threat at all.
According to Premysl Cech, head of the Median agency, older generations aged 60 or more – i.e. those who grew up under communism and experienced the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia – have the most pronounced attitudes (either positive or negative) towards Russia.
On a scale of 0 to 10, respondents rated the threat posed by Moscow at 6.5, on average.
The study also found that around 65% of Czechs supported the government’s decision, last week, to exclude Russian energy giant Rosatom from the tender to build a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear plant.
The survey was conducted at the beginning of last week shortly after the revelations of Russia’s alleged role in the deadly explosion of a Czech ammunition depot back in 2014.
The Czech government’s accusation led to an unprecedented spat with Moscow, the mutual expulsion of dozens of diplomats and – as aforementioned – the exclusion of Rosatom from the country’s nuclear expansion contract.