Support for Russia-Ukraine visa regime on decline in both countries - poll
The number of supporters of visa and customs restrictions with Russia declined in Ukraine to 45% in December from 49% in September 2016, according to surveys conducted simultaneously by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) and Russia's Levada Center, whose results are available on the KIIS website.
As many as 46% of respondents want their countries to be friends, without any visas or customs (43% in September), it says.
Both in September and in December, 3% of Ukrainian respondents said they wanted Russia and Ukraine to be a single country.
The number of those supporting visas and customs regulations with Ukraine also declined in Russia to 33% from 39% in the reporting period, while the percentage of respondents favoring friendship with Ukraine went up to 53% from 48%.
Nine percent of Russian respondents said they wanted to be a single country with Ukraine (8% in September).
The attitude of Ukrainians to Russia remained virtually unchanged, with 40% feeling positive in December 2016.
The popularity rating of Ukraine grew in Russia to 34% in December from 26% in September.
Compared to September 2016, the number of Ukrainians who feel negative about Russia grew to 47% from 46%, while the number of Russians disliking Ukraine went down to 54% in December from 56% in September.
Compared to May 2016, the number of Ukrainians favorably disposed towards Russia increased only in the southern part of the country - to 58% from 54%. The rest of the regions posted a decline: to 26% from 28% in the west, to 35% from 39% in the center, and to 47% from 50% in the east. In turn, the percentage of Ukrainians who feel negative about Russia declined to 27% from 32% in the south and increased in every other region, i.e. to 63%from 61% in the west, to 51% from 46% in the center, and to 32% from 28% in the east.
Compared to September 2016, the number of Ukrainians demonstrating positive sentiment towards Russia grew in December 2016 in the south (to 65% from 58%) and in the east (to 63% from 47%), while it declined to 16% from 26% in the west, and to 31% from 35% in the center of the country.
Compared to September 2016, the decline in the number of Ukrainians harboring hard feelings towards Russia was the most significant in the eastern part of Ukraine (to 17% from 32%) and slight in the south (to 25% from 27%). The number increased in the west to 75% from 63% and in the center to 53% from 51%.
The KIIS conducted personal interviews with 2,040 adult respondents in 110 populated localities in every region of Ukraine but the uncontrolled parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions on December 3-12, 2016.
The Levada Center polled 1,602 adults nationwide on December 9-12, 2016.