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Russians Tend to Like U.S. But Still Prefer Europe - Poll

MOSCOW. July 28 (Interfax) - The attitude of Russians toward the United States and the European Union has improved over the past few months, while the attitude toward Belarus has worsened, Levada Center told Interfax on Wednesday. The center held a nationwide poll in July.

Fifty-nine percent of the respondents said in July that they like the United States. The indicator was 5% smaller in March, the center said.

The number of Russians who like the EU grew from 63% to 66% in the same period, while the number of negative answers decreased from 21% to 18%.

At the same time, 68% of Russians spoke well of Belarus in July, as opposed to 78% in May. The number of Russians who spoke ill of Belarus increased from 15% to 22%.

The percentage of Russians who like Ukraine decreased to 65% in July. The corresponding indicators were 3% and 8% higher in March and at the beginning of the year.

The attitude toward Georgia has not changed. Fifty percent of Russians still feel negatively about Georgia, and 37% voiced the opposite opinion.

Fifty-seven percent of the respondents said that Russia should defend its own economic and political interests and should not interfere in the affairs of neighbors while developing relations with CIS member states.

Eighteen percent called for support of democratic forces and progressive changes in CIS states, while 15% said that Russia should help CIS national leaders stay in office, regardless of what they were, as long as they were loyal to Russia.

Twenty-six percent said that Russia should resist the attempts of foreign nations (the United States, China, Turkey and others) to put pressure on CIS states.

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