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Russians not keen on closer ties with NATO - poll

NATO LogoMoscow, 11 November: Fewer and fewer Russians believe that collaboration with international organizations such as the WTO (World Trade Organization), NATO and the European Union is expedient, in the belief that their interests are at odds with the country's interests.

Those are the findings of a survey carried out by the Levada Centre during the period 22-25 October in 44 regions across Russia. In the opinion of 45 per cent of respondents, it would be least beneficial for Russia to build relations with NATO. Twenty-two per cent of those who replied said that rapprochement with NATO meets the interests of the Russian Federation (that is the lowest figure since 2004, when it stood at 44 per cent (as published)), the sociologists told Interfax.

Admission to the WTO, in the opinion of 44 per cent of those surveyed, meets Russia's interests, but this figure has gradually been falling over the past few years as well (48 per cent in 2008). Meanwhile, the number of those who aren't sure about where they stand on this issue is growing (32 per cent as opposed to 32 per cent).

Russians trust the European Union most of all: 56 per cent replied that in future it would be appropriate for the country to endeavour to join this organization (52 per cent in 2007). Twenty-three per cent of those surveyed are sure of the reverse. Twenty-two per cent struggled to reply.

The sociologists also conducted another poll in which they took interest in the attitudes of Russians to the US, the EU and Ukraine.

Fifty-six per cent of those who replied spoke positively of the US, 68 per cent spoke positively of the European Union and of Ukraine. Twenty-nine, 16 and 20 per cent of Russians respectively take a different view.


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