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Most Russians consider relations with Turkey strained, hostile — poll

February 17, 2016, 11:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Only 19% Russians call for resuming cooperation with Turkey and move on despite the current differences

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, February 17. /TASS/. The majority of Russians - seventy percent - say Moscow’s ties with Ankara remain strained and hostile following Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane in late November, a state-run pollster said on Wednesday.

"Our citizens now assess the bilateral relations of Russia and Turkey very negatively: 47% call them strained, 23% say they are hostile and 14% say they are chilly," the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) said.

Half of respondents see no progress in the Russian-Turkish relations saying tensions only grow. One in three respondents (36%) say the situation remains unchanged. Just six percent of Russians believe that the bilateral ties normalize.

The poll shows the majority of Russians are not ready for restoration of contacts at the political level.

Some 35% of respondents say Russia should isolate Turkey politically and limit economic cooperation with Ankara. Another 33% say Moscow should counter Turkey’s policy but needs to develop social and economic ties.

Only 19% Russians call for resuming cooperation with Turkey and move on despite the current differences.

The poll was conducted on February 6-7 among 1,600 respondents in 46 Russian regions.

Relations between Russia and Turkey hit a low after the incident on November 24 when a Turkish F-16 fighter jet brought down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M bomber, which, Ankara alleges, violated the country’s airspace near the Syrian border. The Russian Defense Ministry said the warplane was flying over Syrian territory and had never violated Turkey’s airspace.

Moscow has announced economic sanctions against Turkey over the attack that President Vladimir Putin has described as "stab in Russia’s back" delivered by terrorists’ accomplices.


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