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(05/20/07) -

Russians Would Welcome Association with Ukraine

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in Russia would support a merger with neighbouring Ukraine, according to a poll by All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center. 48 per cent of respondents would vote in favour of a comprehensive association between the two countries in a referendum.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in Russia would support a merger with neighbouring Ukraine, according to a poll by All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center. 48 per cent of respondents would vote in favour of a comprehensive association between the two countries in a referendum.

Conversely, 29 per cent of respondents would oppose such a merger, which could include a common border, legislative branch and currency.

Bilateral relations between Russia and Ukraine are recovering from recent tensions. In late December 2005 and early January 2006, Ukraine was involved in a dispute over gas imports from Russia. The state-run Russian company Gazprom supplies a quarter of Ukraine’s gas. Russia was accused of manipulating its gas prizes for political punishment against the former Soviet republic.

On May 10, local authorities in Lviv, a city located in western Ukraine, decided to remove two monuments classified as “symbols of imperial-Bolshevik domination” and create a commission that will define which Soviet-era memorials will remain intact. Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement, which read: “Attempts to earn political points on fighting memorials and mocking the memory of the fallen can arouse nothing but indignation.”

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrey Deshchitsa discussed the situation, saying, “Such close attention of the Russian side to protection of monuments and memorial signs in Ukraine is surprising, taking into account that in the Russian Federation there are plans to remove two memorials in order to use the site for construction and a parking lot.”

Polling Data

If a referendum about the association of Russia and Ukraine—including a common border, legislative branch, and currency—were to take place today, how would you vote?

For association with Ukraine

48%

Against association with Ukraine

29%

Would not vote

13%

Hard to answer

10%

Source: All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center
Methodology: Interviews with 1,600 Russian adults, conducted on Apr. 21 and Apr. 22, 2007. Margin of error is 3.4 per cent.