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Economy is more important than foreign policy
“Bashkirova and Partners” Independent Research Agency presents results of our new research, which aims to reveal, which issues are the most relevant for our compatriots. What is more important now: ups in foreign policy or downs in fighting economic recession and drop in the living standards? We can give you these answers based on the result of the National representative survey, which was conducted in late May, 2016.
More than a half of respondents (55%) consider economic situation in the country more important than foreign policy. Only some think that foreign policy (13%), as well as democratic freedoms and human rights issues (10%) are of paramount importance. It is notable that in cities with population 100 – 500 thousand a share of respondents, who think that solution of foreign policy issues is a top of mind, is 7% less than sample average. At the same time, there are 5% more of those who think it is necessary to solve domestic policy issues (such as violation of human rights and others) in the indicated groups. It is probably connected to the issues in native industrial sector (primarily in construction industry and engineering) which turned to be unprepared for economic difficulties, which forced enterprises to axe staff or put employees on part-time schedule. It can be assumed that low-income people who live in industrial towns started to experience the burden of Russian economic issues. Loosing interest in the agenda of foreign policy, they start to think of effective and legal ways to protect their labour and social rights (this is a proved fact – according to the statistics, the number of labour disputes and strikes was rapidly increasing in the first half of 2016).
There is another relevant category of Russians which is highly sensitive towards issues in economic policy – people of 30-39 y.o. These are primarily young couples with children, they are interested neither in foreign nor in domestic policy, but they realize that their financial state is unstable and worry that it may go on getting even worse.
There is one more important fact: a third of respondents (32%) think that current course of foreign policy brings rather harm than good, while only a quarter (24%) reckons the opposite. According to the results of our survey, 38% of respondents want it to be prominently corrected.
Thus we can speak about ending of the cycle of patriotic mobilization in Russian society (which started in spring, 2014) and getting issues of economic development and political institutions back into current political agenda.
The study was conducted in May 25-30, 2016 on national random route sample of Russian citizens (18+) by means of face-to-face interviews in place of residence. 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 129 settlements, 238 sampling points have been surveyed. Sampling error ± 2.5% by C.I. of 95%.