Negative attitude to U.S., EU reaches its maximum in Russia - poll

The attitude of Russians towards the United States, the European Union and Ukraine is cooling amid the Western sanctions, and Belarus and China are liked much more, Levada Center told Interfax, quoting May poll statistics.

The attitude of Russians towards the United States, the European Union and Ukraine is cooling amid the Western sanctions, and Belarus and China are liked much more, Levada Center told Interfax, quoting May poll statistics.

Only 18 percent of Russians speak well of the United States now. The numbers stood at 43 percent in the beginning of this year and 51 percent a year before.

Meanwhile, the percentage of negative comments against the United States has grown from 38 percent a year ago and 44 percent this January to 71 percent this May, the sociologists said.

Levada Center polled 1,600 respondents in 130 populated areas in 45 regions in late May.

Relations with the European Union are not at their best either. Some 61 percent of Russians had a generally positive attitude to the European Union a year ago. The number is down to 25 percent this May. Sixty percent of the respondents feel negative; there were 23 percent negative responses in May 2013.

In fact, the negative sentiment about the United States and the European Union has reached a decade maximum, Levada Center said.

The liking for Ukraine has also declined. Slightly more than a third of respondents (35 percent) said in May 2014 they liked Ukraine. The percentage amounted to 63 percent in early March and 72 percent last May.

Belarus (51 percent), China (40 percent), Kazakhstan (37 percent), Armenia (15 percent) and India (13 percent) topped the list of Russia's best friends and allies in the eyes of the respondents.

Germany was mentioned by only 4 percent of the respondents (a downgrade from 14-22 percent of the previous years).

In the opinion of Russians, the least friendly or even hostile nations are the United States and Ukraine mentioned by 69 percent and 30 percent of the respondents, respectively. The other members of the top five are Lithuania (24 percent), Latvia (23 percent) and Estonia (21 percent).

A half of the respondents (49 percent) said countries of the former Soviet Union should be a zone of Russian special interest, and 41 percent believe relations with these countries should not differ from relations with third states.

Belarus tops the list of well-liked countries (85 percent), and only 6 percent have negative feelings about it.

Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (62 percent) feel positively about Israel, and 11 percent have negative feelings (57 percent and 21 percent respectfully in January).

The positive attitude towards China has grown by more than 10 percent over the past year, Levada Center said. Some 62 percent had generally positive feelings about China in 2013. The percentage grew to 77 percent in May.

Some 69 percent of the respondents lauded the recent gas contract with China as a deal advantageous for Russia, and 11 percent claimed the opposite.

Gazprom and CNPC signed a 30-year contract on the delivery of up to 38 billion cubic meters of gas worth of $400 billion to China along the eastern route during the May visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to China.

Read more: Concerns grow in Russia about possibility of military conflict with Ukraine - poll>>>

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