March 17, 2017 - Fort Russ News -
RIA Novosti - translated by J. Arnoldski -
More than half of Russians are willing to endure economic difficulties for the sake of continuing Moscow’s foreign policy towards Ukraine, the latest survey of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center shows.
According to the agency's poll, three-fourths of Russians (76%) are of the opinion that “Russia does not need to fight for the lifting of sanctions because they hurt both our country and the states who imposed them, and therefore they will soon lift them.” In 2015, this point of view was shared by 57% of respondents.
Today, according to sociologists, only 18% of those surveyed (compared to 33% two years ago) say that the counter-sanctions against the West should be lifted because their economic consequences for Russia are too severe.
“More than half of citizens (59%, the highest in all polling years) express readiness to tolerate certain difficulties in the current economic situation for the sake of continuing Russia’s foreign policy course towards Ukraine. The opposite position is maintained by 34%,” the survey document explains.
The head of the Russian Public Opinion Research Center’s research projects, Mikhail Mamonov, remarked that attitudes towards Western sanctions have “become routinized” and that the topic has ceased to be resonant.
“They’ve become accustomed to their [sanctions’] existence, and the negative consequences have merged with the general consequences of economic crisis. Moreover, for the first time during the monitoring period, a group of people has dominated which has fixated on the positive effect of the sanctions. Obviously, the extensive import substitution program has given people clear results. In the end, the majority of people do not notice the consequences of sanctions policy and are ready to not pay attention to the negative consequences,” the expert commented on the results of the study.
The nationwide survey was conducted between March 2nd and 3rd among 1,200 respondents through telephone interviews. The chance of statistical error does not exceed 3.5%.
Relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated over the situation surrounding Crimea and Ukraine. In July 2014, the European Union and United States transitioned from targeted sanctions against citizens and companies to imposing sanctions against entire sectors of the Russian economy. In response, Moscow restricted food imports from the countries who imposed sanctions on it. Russia has repeatedly stated that it considers it “absurd” that the West links the sanctions with the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, since Russia is not a party to the conflict or a subject of the agreements on settling the conflict in Ukraine.
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