Almost 9 out of 10 Russians approve of Crimea's inclusion in Russia - poll
MOSCOW. March 18 (Interfax) - Almost three quarters of Russia's citizens (73%) believe that Crimea is developing more successfully now that it is a part of Russia, according to a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) obtained by Interfax.
According to the poll, one percent of respondents believe the peninsula developed better when it was part of Ukraine, and 21% were undecided on what period of development could be called more successful for Crimea.
In total, 88% of respondents are positive about the reunion of Crimea and Russia (55% of respondents said it is undoubtedly positive, whilst 3% said it is most likely positive). Eight percent of respondents hold the opposite view (five said they are most likely negative about it and 3% said they are undoubtedly negative about it).
Twenty-one percent of respondents believe that the possibility of vacationing on the peninsula without crossing the border is a positive outcome of the reunion of Crimea and Russia.
Among other positive consequences of the reunion of Crimea and Russia, the respondents mentioned the construction of the Crimean Bridge, and the solution of an issue that has strategic significance to Russia's security, VCIOM said
Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they are confident that the reunion of Crimea and Russia has had no negative consequences to them and their families, while four percent mentioned the sanctions against Russia among the negative consequences.
Over half of respondents (56%) found it difficult to answer the question concerning any negative sanctions.
The nationwide poll was conducted on March 12. It surveyed 1,600 respondents aged over 18.
Crimea, which stayed as an autonomous republic within Ukraine after gaining independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union, became part of Russia in March 2014 as the result of a regional referendum.
Ukraine refuses to recognize the results of the referendum and still considers the peninsula as its territory, albeit temporarily occupied. Countries of the European Union and the United States labeled Russia's steps as "annexation" and imposed sanctions on a number of companies, politicians and businesspeople.
Russia, in turn, insists that the Crimea issue is closed once and for all and that the peninsula is Russian territory.