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    Soldiers wearing protective clothing prepare to lift tow truck in Hyde Road, Gillingham, Dorset, England as the investigation into the suspected nerve agent attack on Russian double agent Sergei Skripal continues Wednesday March 14, 2018

    Most Russians See Current Decline of Country's Relations With UK as Temporary

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - More than half of Russian nationals, who are aware of the poisoning of Russian ex-intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom, believe that the current deterioration of Moscow-London relations caused by the incident is temporary, a poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) showed on Monday.

    Skripal, who also worked for UK intelligence, and his daughter have been in hospital in a critical condition since March 4 and are being treated for exposure to what the UK experts believe to be the A234 nerve agent. The UK side claimed it was a Novichok-type nerve agent, which was developed in the Soviet Union.

    "The majority of Russians (74 percent), who are aware of [Skripal's] poisoning, recognize the fact of the deterioration of [Russia's] relations with the United Kingdom due to the incident. However, it [the deterioration] is perceived (by 52 percent) as a temporary phenomenon rather than a long-term confrontation (22 percent)," the survey revealed.

    The poll was carried out on March 20-21 among 2,000 respondents aged 18 years or over.

    READ MORE: Russian Embassy: US-Russia Relations Should Stay Unaffected by Skripal Case

    Experts' Reaction to the Poll

    Commenting on the survey's results, head of VTsIOM's Political Research Department Stepan Lvov stressed that "the majority of Russians do see clear Russophobic motives in the actions of UK politicians when all of them directly accused our country of the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter."

    Lvov said, citing experts, that this was one of the factors that had an influence on the increase in voter turnout and Russian President Vladimir Putin's result in the vote earlier in March. At the same time, he underlined that the "base" for high voter turnout and people's support for Putin "was created long before the election day."

    READ MORE: Skripal Case: EU Gets 'Signals' US Wants to Expel Russian Diplomats — Reports

    The Russian presidential election took place on March 18 with a record turnout of 67.54 percent. Putin won the election with 76.69 percent of the vote.

    Following the Salisbury poisoning incident, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of orchestrating an attack on Skripal and expelled 23 Russian diplomats as a punitive measure.

    The Russian side has strongly rejected the accusations and suggested helping in the investigation. However, Moscow's request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison Skripal was denied. The Russian side also expelled UK diplomats in response and ordered the British Council to stop its activities in Russia.

    READ MORE: MI5 Tips Against 'Honey Traps' For Businessmen Visiting Russia

    What Russians Think About Sergei Skripal's Poisoning

    Majority of Russian nationals do not believe that Russian intelligence agencies were involved in the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom, a poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) showed on Monday.

    READ MORE: Missing Hours: Skripals' Cellphones Reportedly Turned Off on Day of Attack

    Skripal and his daughter are being treated for exposure to what the UK experts believe to be the A234 nerve agent allegedly similar to Novichok. UK Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Russia of orchestrating an attack on the former intelligence officer, and expelled 23 Russian diplomats as a punitive measure.

    According to the survey, 82 percent of Russians are aware of the poisoning incident that took place in the UK city of Salisbury on March 4.

    "The majority of the Russians, who are aware of the incident, do not believe in the version, which includes the involvement of Russia's intelligence agencies in the attempted murder [of Skripal]," the poll revealed.

    Almost 40 percent of respondents believe that the attempted murder was orchestrated by opponents of the Russian authorities.

    The majority of those surveyed — 81 percent — believe that UK claims about Russia's involvement in the incident are biased. At the same time, almost 60 percent consider negotiations to be the best option for Russia in the given situation.

    READ MORE: Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian & Estonian Foreign Ministries Summon Russian Envoys

    The poll was carried out from March 20 to 21 among 2,000 respondents aged 18 years or over.

    Moscow has strongly rejected the accusations and offered to assist in the investigation. However, its request for samples of the chemical substance used to poison Skripal was denied. The Russian side also expelled UK diplomats and ordered the British Council to stop its activities in Russia.

    Tags:
    intelligence agencies, poisoning, poll, Yulia Skripal, Sergei Skripal, United Kingdom
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