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Russians take Western trade sanctions calmly - poll

September 29, 2014, 18:02 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© ITAR-TASS/Pavel Smertin

MOSCOW, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Anti-Russian trade sanctions imposed by Western countries and Moscow retaliatory restrictive measures against European countries did not split Russian society, says a poll conducted by Russia's state-run All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) on request by ITAR-TASS Political Analysis Center in August 2014.

As many as 1,660 respondents from half of the country’s regions participated in the public opinion poll.

The results show most Russians take the harsh current situation with understanding and do not attach much importance to the sanctions war.

The survey showed that 92% of those asked did not notice after-effects of sanctions imposed on Russia. Only 4% have noticed price growth.

As many as 84% of the surveyed backed an import ban on some products from the United States, EU countries and other countries, while only 9% did not approve of these restrictions. Citizens of Moscow and St. Petersburg have accounted for 17% of those who most frequently gave a negative response to Russian countersanctions.

Russian retaliatory sanctions were not taken negatively; on the contrary, most Russians have found quite major positive aspects in them. Respondents believed that Russian food products were better than foreign or had equal quality, so the food import ban boosted the development of domestic agriculture and food industry and was beneficial for consumers.

The survey showed 32% saying Western sanctions mainly sought “to make Russia weaker, slow down its development and undermine its influence on the global arena.” Another 14% affirmed that other countries apart from the US “meet Washington halfway.” Finally, 13% said that Western countries “seek to prove their influence and to make Russia obey them.”

“Western trade sanctions are aimed not against ordinary citizens, but primarily against big business. This is why most people do not feel an impact of anti-Russian measures,” Director of the Institute of Globalisation Problems Mikhail Delyagin told ITAR-TASS commenting the survey.

“As for food price growth, these prices were affected by Russian restrictive measures introduced in retaliation to Western sanctions without being estimated properly. First, monopoly companies should have been put under tough control, as the latter contrived to raise prices even on products absent from the sanction lists. Secondly, a special trade regime should be envisaged in such Russian regions as westernmost Kaliningrad area in the Baltic Sea region and the Crimean peninsula,” the expert stressed.

“Several categories of food products from the West were paid up before Russian countersanctions were imposed, but were not delivered to the country. As a result, business has lost much money and decided to compensate for them by driving the prices up,” the doctor of economic sciences added.

“In general, a calm attitude Russians have to the Western sanctions points to the fact that people understand that the United States and the European Union ‘punish’ Russia not for this country being wrong in the situation over events in Ukraine, but exactly for Moscow being right in it,” Mikhail Delyagin noted.


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