Ukrainians and Russians support independence, favor greater openness

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Nov. 19, 2012, 6:17 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

The majority of Ukrainians and Russians support their countries' independence.

The majority of Ukrainians and Russians support their countries' independence but favor greater openness and friendship without visas or customs, according to an opinion poll held by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KMIS) and Russia's Levada Center in late September-early October.

Asked what level of bilateral relations they would prefer, 72% of Ukrainian and 60% of Russian respondents said that they wanted to see their countries independent but friendly states with open borders without visas or customs. For Ukrainians, it's 3% higher than half a year ago, while for Russians it's almost unchanged.

The share of Russians who would prefer more isolated relations with Ukraine with stricter border control and the visas and customs in place has fallen from 20% to 14% since February 2012. A similar indicator for Ukraine dropped from 13% in February to 11% in September.

The number of unification supporters shrunk by 2% to 14% in Ukraine and increased by 4% to 20% in Russia.

KMIS polled more than 2,000 people aged 18 and older in all Ukrainian regions with the margin of error within 2.3% for 50%; 2% for 25%, 1.4% for 10% and 1% for 5%.

Levada Center polled 1,600 Russians aged 18 and older in 127 communities in Russia.

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