Most people in Russia and Ukraine believe their countries should be independent but have open borders without visas or customs for each other’s citizens, the Levada Analytical Center and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) said in their joint survey.
The opinion was expressed by 52% of Russians polled by Levada and 48% of Ukrainians polled by KIIS. A total of 25% of Russian respondents and 38% of Ukrainian respondents disagreed.
Seventeen percent of polled Russians and 4% of polled Ukrainians said they wanted Russia and Ukraine to be a single state.
The survey showed that people in both countries are well disposed towards each other. Eighty-two percent of polled Russians declared their warm feelings for Ukrainians, including 25% who said their attitude was very good. The percentage stood at 77% and 23%, respectively, in Ukraine.
Negative feelings were expressed by 13% of polled Russians and 14% of polled Ukrainians. At the same time, 85% of Russian respondents and 69% of Ukrainian respondents exhibited negative sentiments towards the leaders of each other’s countries, the pollsters said.
Levada polled 1,600 people older than 18 in 137 populated localities in 50 Russian constituent territories on February 15-20. KIIS polled 2,042 respondents in Ukraine on February 8-20.
Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved a draft agreement with Uruguay on the mutual abolition of visa requirements. Ukrainian Ambassador to Uruguay concurrently Yuriy Diudin was authorized to sign the document. The provisions of this document stipulate that citizens of Ukraine will be able to stay in the territory of Uruguay for a period not exceeding 90 days, renewable for another period of 90 days. Citizens of Uruguay will be able to stay in Ukraine for a period not exceeding 90 days over a 180-day period.
According to the press service of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, such an agreement was reached after meetings of Director of the Consular Service Department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Serhiy Pohoreltsev in Uruguay, in particular, with the head of the migration service, the leadership of the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry and parliament members.
“After agreeing the necessary formalities for the signing and entry into force of the relevant bilateral agreement, Uruguay will become another country where Ukrainian citizens can travel without visas,” the ministry said.
More than a million Ukrainians have taken advantage of the visa-free regime with the EU since the introduction of a simplified system in June 2017. “More than a million Ukrainians have already taken advantage of the visa-free regime with the countries of the European Union since June 2017,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook page.
The press service of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service, in turn, noted that a significant increase in passenger traffic to the European Union countries was associated with the beginning of the tourist season and vacations. In addition, from July to September every year, European countries note the demand for attendance by entrants and students of their educational institutions.
As reported, 500,000 trips of Ukrainians to the European Union were recorded in mid-May 2018.
In general, there are a great number of people going to the EU by air. About 35% of Ukrainians currently choose air travel to the EU. Poland is also a popular destination for crossing the border by road. The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians get into the EU countries through the border with this country.