75% of Russians see Western countries as adversaries

Russian citizens negatively assess the U.S. role in the world and feel critical about the level of Russian-U.S. relations, Levada Center told Interfax on Oct. 14.

Washington dwellers waiting for USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev's arrival, June 30, 1990. Source: Yuryi Abramochkin / RIA Novosti

Russian citizens negatively assess the U.S. role in the world and feel critical about the level of Russian-U.S. relations, Levada Center told Interfax on Oct. 14.

In the opinion of 71 percent of the respondents, the United States is generally playing a negative role in the contemporary world (50 percent in September 2013). Only 4 percent of Russians say the role of the United States is positive and 3 percent dub it neutral.

A fifth of the respondents (19 percent) argue that the United States "sometimes plays a positive role and sometimes this role is negative." Levada Center polled 1,600 respondents in 134 populated localities in 46 regions on October 2-5.

Forty-five percent of the respondents called the current relations between Russia and the United States tense, which was the highest indicator since 2001, the sociologists said.

Another 29 percent described Russian-American relations as hostile (39 percent in September 2014 and 12 percent in March 2014), and 18 percent said the relations were cool (11 percent in September 2014).

Positive opinions were expressed much less frequently: 4 percent said Russian-American relations were normal and calm (2 percent in September and 14 percent in March 2014), 1 percent called them good and neighborly (the same as a year ago), and less than 1 percent called the relations friendly.

Speaking of Russia-EU relations, 42 percent of Russians described them as tense, 32 percent as cool and 12 percent as hostile. Seven percent of the respondents said the relations were normal, and 2 percent called them friendly and good.

In the opinion of 75 percent of Russians, the largest Western countries (the United States, Germany, Japan, the UK and others) are "Russia's adversaries seeking to resolve their problems at its expense and using every opportunity to damage its interests."

At the same time, 17 percent of respondents believe that these are "Russian partners, which have common interests [such as the fight against crime and terrorism, ecological disasters, science, culture and the economy]."

According to 46 percent of Russians, Western democracy does not go well with Russia and has a destructive impact. Slightly more than a third (36 percent) believe that it "suits Russia but needs serious adjustment because of the peculiarities of our country." Ten percent argue that it is necessary for Russia's development.

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