The number of Russians who believe the recent U.S.-Russian spy scandal was FBI-orchestrated is quite high, a poll Russia's Levada Center think-tank issued on Friday said.
Slightly over half of the respondents (53%) said the scandal was invented by the U. S. intelligence services in order to undermine Russia-U.S. bilateral ties, which saw noticeable improvement after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's recent visit to the United States. Another 37% found it difficult to express their opinion on the scandal.
The scandal will blow over and relations will soon recover, 58% of those polled said. Only 13% supposed the scandal would deteriorate bilateral ties and inspire a new stage of the Cold War.
Ten members of an alleged Russian spy ring were arrested in the United States in late June on suspicion of spying for Russia, and an 11th suspect was detained in Cyprus but escaped the island after being released from custody on bail. His whereabouts are still unknown.
Russian media have widely been covering the issue, the poll showed: 59% of the respondents have heard about the spy scandal.
Some 1,600 people took part in the poll conducted on July 2 - 5, with a statistical margin of error below 3.4%.
MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti)