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Top US pollster shows majority of Russians back Putin’s foreign and domestic policies

June 21, 9:46 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

According to the survey, "a full 87% have some or a lot of confidence in Vladimir Putin’s handling of global issues"

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

WASHINGTON, June 21. /TASS/. Most Russian citizens support domestic and foreign policy of President Vladimir Putin, a poll carried out in Russia by a US-based Pew Research Center showed on Wednesday.

According to the survey, "a full 87% have some or a lot of confidence in Vladimir Putin’s handling of global issues, a share that has held relatively steady since the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict in 2014."

Some 59% of citizens said Russia plays a more important role in the world today compared to 10 years ago, while 17% said Russia is less important now. About two-in-ten (21%) said Russia’s importance has not changed in the past decade.

Most Russians back Putin’s approach to relations with China (78%), the United States (73%), the European Union (67%) and Ukraine (63%).

The survey showed that 55% of Russians support Putin’s economic policy, and 49% approve of the way the president is handling corruption. Russians also back Putin’s policy towards the civil society (57%) and energy policy (60%).

Rising prices is most often cited as a "very big problem" (71%), the poll said. Corruption among politicians is the second-most-pressing concern (58%), followed by lack of employment opportunities (54%), terrorism (54%), the gap between the rich and the poor (53%), crime (52%) and corrupt businessmen (50%).

"Russians are divided, with 46% saying Russia’s economic situation is good and 49% saying it is bad," the survey showed. In 2015, 73% of citizens assessed the country’s economic situation as bad, a similar opinion poll said.

When asked about Russia’s steps in Syria, "clear majorities say limiting civilian casualties (72%) and defeating extremist groups (64%) should be top priorities," according to the survey. Keeping Syrian President Bashar Assad in power is a relatively low priority for Russians: just a quarter (25%) said this should be a top priority.

The Pew Research Center survey was conducted among 1,002 respondents in Russia from February 18 to April 3, 2017. The margin of error does not exceed 4%.

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