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Two-thirds of Russians say country benefits from reunification with Crimea — poll

March 18, 2015, 13:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The share of those who see mostly negative consequences of Crimea’s reunification with Russia is 14%

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© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Russia has benefited from reunification with Crimea, two-thirds of Russians say one year after the event - suggests a public opinion poll by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) made public on Wednesday.

The main advantages of the peninsula’s reunification with the Russia, according to those polled, are: access to the sea, the possibility of free stationing of the Black Sea Fleet naval bases (say 36% of respondents), additional resort territories (21%), as well as restoration of historical justice - the return of formerly owned territories (23%). The vast majority of Russian citizens - 85% - are certain that Crimea has returned to Russia for good. Only 4% of respondents believe that issue of the peninsula’s territorial jurisdiction may be considered again under certain circumstances.

Most Russians are convinced that the world community will sooner or later recognize Crimea as Russian territory: 27% of those polled say this will happen in the nearest time, 43% - within several years, 15% - in 10 years or more. Only 8% of respondents say this will never happen. The overwhelming majority of respondents (89%) are certain that Crimea definitely should not be returned to Ukraine for lifting Western sanctions. This view is shared equally by supporters of different political parties, people of different ages, urban and rural residents.

Crimean residents themselves have benefited from reunification with Russia - say 80% of respondents. Only 9% of respondents have a different view. Half of those polled (49%) have proposed to simply ignore the statements by some politicians who do not recognise the fact of Crimea’s accession to Russia. According to three-quarters of Russians (74%), Crimea and Sevastopol should receive the federal government’s support equally with other constituent entities of the Russian Federation. Only 15% of respondents say Crimea and Sevastopol should receive financial assistance from the state budget as a matter of priority, compared to other regions of the country.

The share of those who see mostly negative consequences of Crimea’s reunification with Russia is 14%. Those who expressed this view are primarily concerned over Western sanctions, the country’s economic crisis, big spending of the budget funds on the support of the new Federation entities.

The VCIOM poll conducted on 21-22 February involved 1600 people in 46 regions of Russia. The statistical error does not exceed 3.5%

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