Russians aware of loan to Ukraine, say it can preserve friendship - poll
An overwhelming majority of Russians (76 percent) know about Moscow's decision to give a loan to Ukraine and to cut natural gas prices, the Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) said referring to a January poll held in 42 regions.
Most respondents explained the decisions of Moscow with the wish to preserve friendship with Kyiv (13 percent), 10 percent said Russia wanted to support Ukraine at a difficult moment and 7 percent said it helped the fraternal people.
Another seven percent suggested that Moscow wished to win over Ukraine, 6 percent said it was a political move and a way to prevent Ukraine from joining the European Union, and 5 percent indicated economic interests.
Over a quarter of the respondents, 27 percent, said they knew well about the plans of Russia's economic assistance to Ukraine. Senior citizens (82 percent of people older than 45), Muscovites and St. Petersburg residents (86 percent) are the best informed. Some 23 percent admitted they had not heard about those measures, the sociologists said.
VTsIOM polled 1,600 respondents in 130 populated localities in 42 regions of Russia on January 11-12, 2014.
A month ago Russia decided to grant $15 billion to Ukraine for redeeming its Eurobonds. Russia redeemed the first tranche of Ukrainian Eurobonds for $3 billion on December 23, 2013.
A decision to cut the Russian natural gas price for Ukraine from more than $400 per 1,000 cubic meters to $268.5 was announced simultaneously.