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Russia has greatest influence on Armenia – poll

YEREVAN, July 4 (RIA Novosti, Gamlet Matevosyan) – Most Armenians say that Russia has the greatest influence on their country.

Stepan Safaryan of the Armenian Strategic and National Research Center (ATsSNI) said that 85% of experts polled and 58.9% of other respondents considered Russia to be the country with the greatest influence on Armenia.

Safaryan also said that 52.5% of the Armenian experts supported Armenia joining NATO, with 30% against. Most supporters of NATO accession (63.7%) said that Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan needed a common security system, and 31.8% of them said that NATO was the most effective.

77.8% of experts who opposed joining NATO said Armenia would not be welcome in the alliance, while 22.2% said accession was impossible because of tensions with Turkey.

Safaryan said that only 34.7% of civilian respondents backed the idea of the accession to NATO, citing the need for an effective security system, while 33.9% were against, saying Armenia should remain a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which also includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

ATsSNI conducted the poll of 40 experts and 1,500 civilians on June 18-25.

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