Very significant changes were recorded in the Russian and American public opinion. Citizens of Russia have a better think about the Americans and their leader, and the Americans about the Russians and Vladimir Putin. Can you talk about the real change the social trends and explains what is happening?
According to a survey by research company Gallup, Americans ‘ opinions of Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin lately has improved.
“The positive dynamics of Russian public opinion for a few months ahead of us”
According to sociologists, positive view on Russia is shared by 28% of respondents, while in 2015 the same view was followed about a quarter of the respondents.
Vladimir Putin and even set a record. The positive attitude was declared by 22% of respondents, the highest level since 2003. And in 2015, Putin’s positive rating among Americans was 13%.
At the same time to talk about a systemic shift and radical change in the perception of Russia and its President in the eyes of Americans, of course, is not necessary. The country and Putin is still a very high rating. According to the same survey, about their negative attitude to Russia said 70% of respondents, and Putin are bad 72% of Americans.
Data from the American survey is very revealing correlate with the results of recent research VTSIOM and “Levada-center” about the way Russians view the United States, their policies and leaders.
“Levada-center” has recorded a noticeable shift in public opinion that occurred from November 2016 to January 2017. If in November of last year about your good (and very good) the attitude of the United States said 28% of Russians, in January this figure was increased to 37%. And concerning the negative assessments occurred in reverse. If in November the proportion of “bad” and “very bad” relationship to the States was 56%, in the first month of the new year it dropped to 49%.
In the positive dynamics of Russian public opinion, it seems, a few months ahead of us. Improvement in the attitude of Russians to the United States is already about two years after the peak of the aggravation of bilateral relations in 2014-2015. According to the “Levada-center”, a 70 percent rating, the United States was recorded in may 2016.
At the same time, it is hardly surprising the current differences in American and Russian public opinion, considering how actively anti-Russian theme is still used by American media in political agenda in the fight against Donald trump.
It is worth noting that the improvement of relations with the US did not affect the highly pragmatic attitude of Russians to bilateral relations. The majority of Russians (55%) reject the idea of the exchange of sanctions on Russia on mutual nuclear weapons reductions. Agreed with this idea, 31% of respondents.
As for possible extradition to the States former U.S. intelligence officer Edward Snowden for the sake of improving Russian-American relations, the picture is even more radical. Against this idea are 71% of Russians, and among those who are familiar with this case, the position is even more unanimous – 89%. I support this proposal only 12% of respondents.
As for the attitude of Russian citizens to the American leaders, the situation is also quite natural. In relation to who left the presidency of Barack Obama, the Russians have shown far worse opinion than the Americans about Putin: only 9% of positive ratings, with 81% negative.
But the new head of the United States Donald Trump Russian society has given enough serious credibility. 40% of respondents believe that the United States has received in his person a good leader, 31% of respondents believe that he would rather “average” Manager, and 4% “poor” and “very bad”.
Experts – American and Russian – unanimous and attribute the observed positive trend in public opinion with the leaders. This is especially significant in States where the change that had occurred was almost entirely due to the supporters of the Republican party.
Donald trump in his public rhetoric is a consistent position on building pragmatic relations with Russia on a mutually beneficial basis. He avoids accusations against the Kremlin, preferring to talk about the necessity of finding a common language. His balanced position, which his opponents for some reason call “Pro”, obviously influenced his supporters.
The same process happened in Russia. Mentioned the sharp positive shift in Russian public opinion from November 2016 to January 2017 is also clearly linked with the victory of Donald trump in the presidential election and more optimistic expectations of Russian society in regard to relations between the two countries.
At the same time, it is impossible not to note that, despite the positive trend, and the Russians are in “standby mode”, and quite wary, and not ready reckless “to rush into the arms” of States. Geopolitical lessons of the past three decades, was obviously a learned Russian society.