Most Russians Believe Arctic Should Remain Neutral

MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) – More than two thirds of Russians believe that Arctic territories should not belong to any state, a poll carried out by the Kremlin-backed pollster Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) said on Friday.

Only 17 percent of respondents said the Arctic territories should be divided between states, while 69 percent are convinced that the territories should remain neutral and outside the boundaries of any country.

Nearly half of Russians (45 percent) favor the extraction of hydrocarbons and other natural resources in the area, while 42 percent consider it inadmissible.

For 69 percent of Russians, Arctic is, first of all “frost, snow and ice,” 15 percent named white bears and other Arctic animals, 10 percent mentioned the North Pole.

Only 1 percent mentioned the recent incident in which environmental activists tried to scale an Arctic oil platform run by an affiliate of state-controlled energy giant Gazprom in protest at offshore drilling in the area.

The survey was conducted on October 13, 2013 and involved 1,500 respondents from 100 Russian cities and towns.


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