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Most Ukrainians dissatisfied with economy, politics

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A majority in Ukraine are dissatisfied with their country's economy and political situation, a poll by a Washington non-profit indicates.

But opinion was divided on whether the country should have closer ties with the European Union.

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The poll by the International Foundation for Electoral systems said 87 percent of Ukrainians polled are displeased with the economy and 79 percent disapprove of the political situation, a release from the United States Agency for International Development said.

USAID is the agency responsible for administering civilian foreign aid.

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The results come from the foundation's 21st public opinion in Ukraine since 1994.

The survey found a majority of Ukrainians believe the country is on the wrong track and headed toward instability (58 percent), up from 2012 findings (53 percent), USAID said.

The U.S. agency said responses on several questions point to specific economic concerns, including inflation (56 percent), poverty (51 percent), unemployment (50 percent) and corruption (47 percent).

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Those surveyed also were asked about Ukraine taking steps to join the European Union or the Russian-led Customs Union, the U.S. agency said. The poll indicated 37 percent supported the country joining the EU, and 33 favored the Customs Union.

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Thousands in Kiev have been protesting the government's decision not to seek association with the EU.

A small majority said they preferred the opposition candidate over the current president in the 2015 presidential elections.

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The 2013 survey was sponsored by USAID and includes responses from 1,517 Ukrainians polled between Oct. 26 and Nov. 3, No margin of error was provided.

USAID said the opinions expressed in the survey do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the agency or the U.S. government.

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