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Most Russians Support Pro-Western Strategy - Poll

MOSCOW. June 4 (Interfax) - Russia has begun playing a serious role in world politics, 77% of Russians believe, while 16% of respondents disagreed with the statement, according to a May poll conducted by the VTsIOM public opinion center.

According to the poll, Russia's assertive stance has been noted by 83% of respondents who approve of president Vladimir Putin's performance and by 53% of those who disapprove.

Meanwhile, 38% of Russians in general agree that the country's economic achievements in recent years are the result of the work of its citizens, and not high oil prices. One out of two (47%) disagrees.

Opinions about what is behind Russia's success among respondents who disapprove of the president's performance are divided (42% agree, 44% disagree), those who disagree tend to believe that the Russia's achievements are a precisely a result of high oil prices (61% against 27%).

In this situation, according to 60% of respondents, Russia should aspire to a rapprochement with the West, while 24% are against such a course. At the same time, Russia should seek to strengthen its influence in the CIS, according to 69% of respondents (against 16%).

According to the pollster, the idea of the country's rapprochement with the West amongst United Russia and Fair Russia activists has more support than among voters of the Russian Communist and Liberal Democratic parties (53%), but even amongst those, pro-Western positions prevail.

The pro-CIS strategy is approved primarily by supporters of the Russian Communist Party (79%) and "Fair Russia" (73%), slightly less among those of United Russia (71%) and the Liberal Democratic Party (68%).

The poll was conducted in mid-May in 153 towns across 46 Russian regions.