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Russians split on ties with France, but optimistic about future — poll

May 28, 2018, 14:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

51% of those polled believe that in the coming several years cooperation between Russian and France will improve

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© AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza

MOSCOW, May 28. /TASS/. Russians are divided over current relations with France, but more than half of the respondents (51%) hoped that they would improve in a couple of years, a survey carried out by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center uncovered on Monday.

"Our citizens characterize current ties between Russia and France in different ways: 54% view them positively, while 46% see them in a negative light. Meanwhile, the outlook for the future is more optimistic, with 51% believing that in the coming several years, cooperation will improve. Only 13% expect deterioration, and another 36% believe that no serious changes should be anticipated," the pollster said.

The absolute majority of those polled (91%) believed that it is important to enhance relations in security between both countries, and another 88% note the importance of strengthening cultural ties between Russia and France, in addition to bolstering political relations (87%).

Most Russians say it is important to boost ties in cutting-edge technologies, climate change and environment protection, tourism and higher education. Some 85% of Russians said they have taken a liking to the French, calling them friendly (91%), romantic (90%) and hard-working (70%). However, many Russians (71%) noted that their knowledge of France and its citizens is lacking.

Some 46% of Russians are inquisitive about France, and one in three and one in five Russians respect and admire this country, respectively.

The nation’s leading polling agency conducted the survey on April 23-27 based on phone interviews with 1,600 respondents. The margin of error does not exceed 2.2% at the 95% confidence level.

French President Emmanuel Macron took part in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that ran from May 24-26. During the event, he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to Macron, French companies inked 50 contracts with their Russian partners.

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