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(07/22/07) -

Approval for Putin Reaches 85% in Russia

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Russian president Vladimir Putin has gained more public support this month, according to a poll by Yury Levada Analytical Center. 85 per cent of respondents approve of Putin’s performance, up four points since June.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Russian president Vladimir Putin has gained more public support this month, according to a poll by Yury Levada Analytical Center. 85 per cent of respondents approve of Putin’s performance, up four points since June.

Putin was elected to a second term as president in March 2004 with 71.31 per cent of all cast ballots. In April 2005, Putin ruled out seeking a new mandate, saying, “I will not change the constitution and in line with the constitution, you cannot run for president three times in a row.” The next presidential election is tentatively scheduled for March 2008.

On Jul. 16, the British government announced it was expelling four Russian diplomats, restricting visas issued to Russian officials, and reviewing other aspects of bilateral relations due to Russia’s refusal to extradite former intelligence agent Andrei Lugovoi to Britain. Lugovoi is suspected by British authorities of murdering former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko.

The move was followed by Russia’s announcement that it would also expel four diplomats, stop issuing visas for British officials, and halt counterterrorism cooperation with Britain. Russian officials have also said they would be willing to try Lugovoi in Russia if British authorities provide compelling evidence to do so.

On Jul. 19, Putin referred to the diplomatic impasse, saying, “I think relations between Russia and Britain will develop normally because both countries are interested in this. It is necessary to measure one’s actions against common sense, respect the legitimate interests of partners and everything will be alright. I think we will overcome this mini-crisis.”

Polling Data

Do you approve or disapprove of Vladimir Putin’s performance as president?

Jul. 2007

Jun. 2007

May 2007

Approve

85%

81%

81%

Disapprove

14%

18%

18%

Source: Yury Levada Analytical Center
Methodology: Interviews to 1,600 Russian adults, conducted from Jul. 13 to Jul. 16, 2007. No margin of error was provided.