In the opinion of 43% of Russians the entry of Russia into the World Trade Organization (WTO) meets Russia's interests, while 24% believe that this step contradicts its interests, according to the data of the poll conducted by the Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies.
The sociologists point out a considerable drop, by more than a quarter, in the number of the supporters of Russia's entry into the WTO in the past two years: in 2003 their number equaled 60%. The number of the opponents has doubled: from 12% to 24%.
27% of the respondents believe that Russia should enter the WTO as soon as possible; 36% think that it is better not to hurry, and 12 % recommend not entering this organization at all.
The Russians were also asked what strategy of economic development is preferable for Russia in view of entering the WTO: to support domestic producers and limit the importers to the Russian market, despite the growing prices of the products of the given industry for the Russian consumers and not always high quality of these products; or to give up supporting Russian producers in this industry and to remove barriers to foreign goods for Russia.
The majority of the polled recommend to choose the first variant in all the branches of the Russian economy. 93% of the polled support protectionism in agriculture and in the foodstuff industry, 3% are for removing the barriers; in the oil and gas industry - 91% and 4% respectively; in the aircraft-building industry - 88% and 6%. Protectionist sentiments are lower with regard to the banking and insurance services (80% and 10%), the production of clothes, footwear, furniture and so on (81% and 14%), the production of alcoholic and tobacco products (76% and 14%). Protectionism is not so actively supported in the automobile-building industry (70% and 23%) and in the production of household appliances and in electronics (67% and 26%).
The public poll was conducted on April 9-10, 2005. The Russian Center for Public Opinion Studies polled 1,600 people in 100 towns and villages in 40 regions, territories and republics of Russia. The statistical error does not exceed 3.4%.