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    Belarus is Russia's leading ally - opinion poll

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    MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - Forty-five percent of Russians see Belarus as Russia's major ally, according to an opinion poll conducted by the Levada center.

    The respondents were asked to name five countries, which could be described as Russia's closest allies, and also five countries that treat Russia with utmost hostility.

    The list includes the top 20 countries, mentioned most often by the pollees.

    Twenty-three percent placed Germany after Belarus on the rating list. It is followed by Kazakhstan (20%), Ukraine (17%), India (16%), France (13%), China (12%), the U.S. (11%), Bulgaria (11%), Armenia (9%), Finland (6%), Italy (6%), Kyrgyzstan (5%), Poland (5%), Azerbaijan (5%), Britain (5%), Israel (5%), Uzbekistan (4%), Moldova (4%), and Japan (4%).

    Ten percent of the pollees failed to name any friendly countries whatsoever, and 14% found it hard to give an answer.

    The list of countries unfriendly towards Russia is led by Latvia (49%), followed by Lithuania (42%), Estonia (32%), Georgia (30%), the U.S. (23%), Ukraine (13%), Afghanistan (12%), Iraq (10%), Japan (6%), Iran (6%), Azerbaijan (5%), Moldova (4%), Poland (4%), Armenia (4%), China (4%), Britain (3%), Israel (3%), Germany (3%), Belarus (2%), and Moldova (2%).

    The opinion poll was conducted in late May in 128 cities and towns of 46 (out of 89) federal districts. The number of respondents was 1,600. The statistical error was within 3%.

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