Majority of Europeans Against EU's Russia Policy

More than half of Europeans disapprove of EU policy towards Russia, a survey by the independent U.S.-based Pew Research Center revealed Tuesday.

Some 51 percent of respondents said that they disapproved of the European Union's stance, while 48 percent said that economic cooperation with Russia was more important than being tough with Moscow on foreign policy.

Greek residents were particularly unhappy with the situation, with 69 percent of the respondents saying they didn't support EU policy towards Russia, and 89 percent saying that trade should be prioritized.

Relations between Greece and the Kremlin have improved dramatically in recent months. Thousands of Russian tourists have flocked to the country following travel restrictions to other popular destinations, including Egypt and Turkey. Russian state energy company Rosneft has also recently signed a new contract agreeing to supply the country with oil.

At the same time, 71 percent of respondents in Sweden and 50 percent in Netherlands spoke out in favor of tough relations with Moscow concerning foreign policy matters.

Russia's relationship with the EU have been strained following Moscow's continued involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014, the EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia, leading the Kremlin to respond with a ban on European food imports.

The Pew Research Center survey was conducted between April 4 and May 12 among 11,494 citizens from 10 EU nations and the United States.

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