MOSCOW, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Russians are almost evenly split over the prospects of a new Cold War with the United States though sentiment is trending toward the affirmative, data show.
Bilateral relations between the United States and Russia have been cool since the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s. A survey conducted in August found 46 percent of the 1,600 respondents told pollsters a new Cold War was possible while 48 percent said it was unlikely, state news agency RIA Novosti reports.
A survey taken in 2009 revealed 37 percent of those taking part in the poll said a repeat of the situation was possible. Of the questions highlighted by the state news agency, the fallout from U.S. whistle-blower Edward Snowden was cited as the primary strain on U.S.-Russian bilateral relations.
Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia after leaking information about a U.S. surveillance program to the press. He's a finalist for this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought awarded by the European Parliament. The winner will be announced Oct. 10.
Of those taking part in the survey conducted by state-run pollster Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 3 percent expressed concern about nuclear warfare. That's 5 percentage points lower than the 2009 survey.
The pollster cited a margin of error of less than 3.4 percent. It didn't reveal the method of the survey.