The number of Russians optimistic about Russian-Ukrainian relations has grown 10 percentage points over the past three years; however, the number of negative assessments of relations with Ukraine still prevail, a poll conducted amongst 1,600 respondents in 130 communities in 42 Russian regions on November 24-25 showed.

More that a half of Russians (55 percent) have a negative assessment of current Russian-Ukrainian relations: 29 percent say they are chilly, 23 percent view them as tense and 3 percent as hostile, results of the VTsIOM poll obtained by Interfax indicate.

A total of 22 percent of respondents say that Russian-Ukrainian relations are currently neutral and 20 percent believe that the country countries are good neighbors and friends.

The number of positive assessments of bilateral relations has grown 10 percentage points from 9 percent in 2009 and the number of negative assessments fell the same 10 percentage points from 65 percent.

Almost three quarters of Russians (72 percent) are aware of Ukraine's plan to sign an association accord with the European Union: 18 percent are well aware of it, while 54 percent say they have a superficial understanding of the plan and know no details.

As to possible impacts of the association agreement on Russian-Ukrainian relations, 42 percent of respondents believe that there will be no impact. Some 26 percent think that tensions between the two countries may rise and 2 percent are sure the signing will be positive for Russia and Ukraine.

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