85% of Europeans have never been to Russia. This was the result of a survey carried out by the Agency for Social Information at the request of Rosbalt news agency. As Director of the Agency for Social Information Roman Mogilevsky announced at a Rosbalt round-table discussion, only 15% of respondents had actually been to Russia themselves. 10% said family members had been to Russia while 18% said friends and acquaintances had been to Russia.
72% of respondents said they would like to visit Russia, whether it be for the first time or not. Only 16% said they are not interested in visiting Russia.
1500 people from 12 Western European cities took part in the survey, including Amsterdam, Brussels, Vienna, Hamburg, Copenhagen, London, Madrid, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Stockholm and Helsinki. The survey was carried out in the native languages of participating countries between April 20 and May 5, 2003.
Following the summit in Riga on November 30, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg explained how the alliance could respond to Russia's 'new aggression against Ukraine.'