IRI poll: Increased Chinese and Russian influence in Macedonia before the war in Ukraine


A new poll by the International Republican Institute (IRI) Center for Inquiry into North Macedonia shows increased Chinese and Russian influence, a lack of transparency in political parties and support for the Open Balkans initiative.

In terms of foreign policy, 64% of the citizens of North Macedonia agree that strong relations with China serve their interests. Sixty percent think the same about Russia. This is an increase of eleven percent for China and six percent for Russia compared to the survey conducted in February 2020. The newly released poll also shows strong support for the European Union (EU) and the United States. Overall, 85% agree that strong relations with the EU best serve the interests of North Macedonia, 76% share the same opinion of the United States.

“As North Macedonia strives to make democratic progress, it is worrying that China and Russia continue to make steady incursions,” said Paul McCarthy, IRI’s regional director for Europe. “Fortunately, support for close partnerships with the EU and the United States remains very strong.”

When asked about political parties, only 21% of the citizens of North Macedonia believe that they are transparent in dealing with the money received from the state budget. Furthermore, 48% were not aware of the amount of the state budget that is allocated annually for financing political parties.

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