Public opinion polls indicate that the number of Russian pessimistic about WTO on the rise

Russians are somewhat pessimistic regarding the consequences of entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Public Opinion Foundation said in a Thursday report based on the August 5 poll.

Only 21 percent of the respondents said that the WTO would bring more advantages than harm to Russia.

The number of optimists has been declining, from 41 percent in 2004 and 32 percent in 2011. The number of pessimists has been growing, from 15 percent in 2004 and 18 percent in 2011 to 28 percent now.

Fifty-one percent of the respondents could give no coherent answer.

Sixteen percent said that the WTO would be useful rather than harmful for average citizens (the indicators stood at 28 percent in 2004 and 25 percent in 2011), 31 percent said that harm would outweigh advantages (22 percent and 20 percent), and 53 percent could not give an answer.

The advantages include lesser prices (5 percent), national economic development (4 percent), development of world trade (3 percent), broader range of commodities (3 percent), higher quality of commodities (2 percent), higher living standards and higher international authority of Russia (1 percent).

Thirteen percent said there would be no advantages, and 2 percent said there would be no harm.

Pessimists fear industrial production decline and damage to the economy (12 percent), price growth (7 percent), excessive supply of imported or low-quality goods (6 percent), greater dependence on the West (3 percent), a decline in living standards (2 percent), and unemployment (1 percent).

Thirty-two percent knew nothing about the WTO; 35 percent had heard something about it, and 31 percent declared their awareness.

The Public Opinion Foundation polled 1,500 people older than 18 in 43 regions of Russia.

Russia will officially enter into the WTO on August 23, 2012.

President Vladimir Putin ratified on July 21 the protocol on the Russian accession to the WTO Marrakesh founding act dated April 15, 1994, which completed the Russian entry into the organization.

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