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Poll: Germans Fear Russian Expansionism

DPA news agency (win)September 2, 2008

A majority of Germans believe Russia could stake further territorial claims along its borders, following its military incursion into Georgian territory last month, according to a poll published Tuesday.

Fighter jets fly over a Russian church tower
A majority of Germans think there's a "realistic" chance of more Russian territorial claimsImage: AP

The poll carried out by the Emnid institute found that 60 percent of German citizens regarded the threat of further territorial claims as "realistic," whereas 34 percent saw the incursion into Georgia as a one-off event.

Germans have some comprehension of Russian anxieties, with 63 percent understanding that Russia feels threatened by plans to station elements of a US anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

And Germans are opposed to NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, with 63 percent against membership for the former republics of the Soviet Union.

Both countries have indicated their wish to join the Western military alliance, but NATO members have thus far not extended an offer of membership.

Russia is strongly opposed to the further eastward expansion of the alliance.