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    Over 40% of Russians Believe Western Sanctions Likely to Remain for Years - Poll

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A quarter of the Russian residents believe that Western sanctions will remain in place for a year or two, while 43 percent do not think that they will be lifted in the next few years, a poll by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) showed on Sunday.

    Only five percent of those surveyed said that the sanctions would be lifted this year, the poll showed.

    Slightly more than a half of respondents said that sanctions had no influence on the life of an average citizen. In 2014, 34 percent of the Russians were of this opinion, while in 2016, 40 percent thought this way.

    READ MORE: US Extends Reprieve for Secondary Sanctions Against Aluminum Giant RUSAL

    Sanctions had a significant influence on the life of 23 percent of respondents, according to the poll, which is lower than in the previous years. At the same time, 19 percent said that sanctions influenced their life, but not in any significant way.

    Over 70 percent of those surveyed noted that the sanctions had an influence on the economy of Russia, with 44 percent saying that it was a serious influence, and 29 percent considering it not very significant.

    READ MORE: German Firms May Lose 1.5Bln Euros in Russia Due to Sanctions — Commerce Chamber

    Almost 40 percent stated that the sanctions had a negative influence on the Russian economy, while 30 percent believed that it was mostly positive.

    Over one-third of the Russians expressed confidence that both Western countries and Russia were interested in scrapping the restrictions.

    The lifting of sanctions would be rather beneficial for the Russian economy, according to 45 percent of respondents, while 12 percent of those surveyed said the move would not serve the Russian economy well.

    READ MORE: Russian Upper House Proposes Imposing Counter-Sanctions on Int'l Organizations

    Almost half of the respondents said that the latest sanctions imposed by Washington and the response that Moscow is preparing signified a serious escalation of the conflict. At the same time, 44 percent noted that the latest tensions did not add anything radically new to the current state of the relationship.

    About 30 percent of those surveyed said they were aware of the latest US sanctions against a number of Russian businessmen, officials and companies, 44 percent said they had heard of them, while 23 percent had no idea about the restrictions.

    More than 10 percent of the Russians believed that the sanctions were motivated by the US negative attitude to Russia and its attempts to put pressure on the country, while 5 percent said that Russia's policy in Syria triggered new US sanctions.

    Over 40 percent of respondents spoke against state subsidies for the companies targeted by sanctions, while about one-third said the government should help the affected businesses.

    The potential Russian response to the latest US restrictions, which is currently being debated in the State Duma, was backed by 45 percent of respondents. Almost 40 percent spoke against countersanctions.

    The supporters of the sanctions, which in particular include a ban on certain pharmaceutical products, stressed that such measures could stimulate the production in Russia. Some of those who approved of the idea to respond said that Russia had all the necessary medication.

    Those, who spoke against such restrictions, pointed out that some of the prescription drugs were not made in Russia or their Russian variants were not as good as the foreign ones.

    The poll was carried out on April 21-22 among 1,500 respondents in 54 Russian regions.

    The United States and its allies have introduced several rounds of sanctions on Russia since 2014, first in connection with the difference over the Ukrainian conflict and Crimea's reunification with Russia and more recently over the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Moscow has refuted the allegations of such meddling.

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