NDI poll: Russia, a real and existing threat to Georgia

Georgia would benefit more from Euro integration by joining EU and NATO, poll said. Photo by N.Alavidze
Agenda.ge, 05 May 2014 - 17:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

High numbers of Georgian citizens believe Russia is real threat to Georgia and local support for EU membership remains strong, according to results of a public opinion survey released by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) today.

Foreign Relations

The NDI report, titled "Public Attitude in Georgia” surveyed 3,942 Georgian citizens from March 26 to April 18, 2014. Information was collected via face-to-face interviews and has an average margin of error of +/- 2.1 percent.

The poll revealed 65 percent of respondents agreed Georgia should join the European Union (EU) rather than the Moscow-dominated Eurasian Union (16 percent), while 19 percent expressed no preference.

Furthermore, 50 percent of those interviewed believed Russia was a real and existing threat to Georgia - a significant increase on results from NDI’s November 2013 poll, when this figure was only 36 percent.


NDI senior resident country director in Georgia, Luis Navarro, presented the results of the survey today. He believed results of the survey were a true reflection of public opinion as the poll looked at issues of public importance, perceptions of democracy and attitudes toward reforms, as well as various domestic and foreign policy issues.

Thirty-three percent of respondents ‘very strongly agreed’ that Georgia would benefit more from Euro-integration by joining the EU and NATO.

The poll also revealed that 62 percent believed Russia were the most responsible for the crisis in Crimea.

Current issues

The NDI poll asked respondents about the current issues within the country.

In particular, respondents were asked if they agreed whether former Prime Minister of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili, continued to influence and be a decision-maker in the actions of the Government.

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed thought Ivanishvili continued to be a decision-maker, compared to 18 percent who did not believe this was accurate. Twenty percent did not have an opinion.

Of those respondents who believed Ivanishvili still had some power in Government, 41 percent approved while 49 percent disapproved.


"Georgians place a high priority on public accountability, whether it pertains to the actions of the former government, a policy of the current Government or their views about the role of a person without office as a decision maker in the government,” Navarro said.

Moreover, the poll showed that 59 percent of respondents believed current prosecutions of former government officials was primarily based on the principle of holding government officials accountable for their actions, while 22 percent believed taking legal action against former UNM government leaders was primarily based upon the desire for political retribution.

When asked if they were aware of the "This affects you too” campaign, which was launched by a group of non-governmental organisations and called for legislative changes prohibiting alleged illegal surveillance, less than half (44%) said they were aware.


Sixty-two percent approved of the campaign compared to 10 percent who do not.

The NDI poll showed employment was the most important national issue of concern in Georgia, followed by territorial integrity and poverty.


In addition, more than a third of people (38%) believed high taxes was the main challenge facing the Georgian economy.