YUKOS CASE: RUSSIA SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT STAND

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MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - Among the Russians polled by the Public Opinion Fund, 69 percent are informed about the YUKOS case but merely one fifth follows the developments. The government stand is supported by 47 percent (as against 36 percent in June 2004) while YUKOS has received the backing of merely seven percent (eight percent last June).

Meanwhile, 46 percent of the respondents are uncertain whether the arrest of Khodorkovsky has had any serious consequences for the country; one third (32 percent) believe this arrest has had little impact; 22 percent think the aftermath is tangible (13 percent regard it as prevailingly negative while nine percent look at it as positive).

The negative consequences are seen as the increased prices for oil and gasoline, the economic damage for the nation, Russia's tainted prestige on the world scene and the worsened investment climate.

As to positive consequences of Khodorkovsky's arrest, these are: the state has demonstrated its strength, the companies have improved in tax payment; one of the tycoons has been justly punished; law has triumphed and the economic situation in the country has bettered.

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