70 percent Russians never left ex-Soviet Union

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 06, 2012 03:10 hrs

Moscow, April 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) More than two-thirds of the Russian population -- 70 percent -- has never been to countries outside the former Soviet Union, independent pollster Levada has found.

Only 24 percent of the respondents admitted to ever setting foot outside Soviet soil, with 17 percent having undertaken business trips and the rest only going abroad for leisure or personal purposes, the survey said.

Six percent failed to give any answer, according to the nationwide survey, which was held in March among 1,600 respondents.

Less than seven percent travel abroad at least once a year, while 10 percent used to visit foreign countries, but do not anymore, Levada said.

Only 17 percent of the respondents hold a foreign passport in addition to the internal one, the survey said.

Obtaining an internal passport is obligatory in Russia, but applying for foreign passports, which is required to travel abroad, is voluntary.

The survey did not specify Russians' preferred destinations abroad.

In a similar poll in 2011, state-run Public Opinion Foundation said 79 percent of the population said they have never travelled outside the ex-Soviet Union.

Germany, Turkey, Egypt and China were named as the most popular destinations at the time.

--IANS/RIA Novosti


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