Despite deteriorating relationship between Moscow and Brussels, new survey reveals over half of Russians see EU in positive light

55% of Russians have a positive attitude toward the European Union. That’s according to a newly published survey, which also discovered that 9% think Russia should strive to become a member.

New research published by WCIOM, the state-owned All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion, revealed that around half (48 percent) of those surveyed would like Russia to become an equal partner in the EU. This is 15 percent higher than those who said the same in 2008, marking a significant change in the past 13 years.

In recent months, relations between Moscow and Brussels have deteriorated. Following the alleged poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the EU has imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and has threatened further economic measures against the country.

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Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the relationship as “in tatters.” However, the average citizen seems to see the EU in a favorable light. However, the WCIOM survey revealed that just 27 percent of the questioned Russians have a negative attitude towards Brussels.

Of the people questioned, more than one-third (35 percent) said Moscow should not aspire to become a part of the EU, believing that Moscow will never be treated as an equal partner by the West.

The poll, conducted on February 24, also revealed that nine percent of people want Russia to become a fully fledged member of the bloc. This figure is a significant drop from the last time the poll was taken, in 2008, when 36 percent saw the country as a future part of the EU.

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