Historic differences between Russian elites about where the country's future lies are here addressed by examining what the Russian public thinks, using data from the New Russia Barometer survey. More than two thirds see the country's future with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and less than one third see it with Europe. Alternative explanations for these differences are tested statistically. The most important influences making Russians look to the near abroad are traditional identities, national pride and age. Although cosmopolitan contacts of individuals with the West encourage people to be pro-European, Russians are likely to continue to view their world as a CIS space. However, this does not indicate a popular demand to re-establish Imperial dominance but rather a durable commitment among most Russians to a Eurasian rather than European view of the world.
- Commonwealth of Independent States