Analysis: Russian influence grows even as Putin is viewed negatively

By Adam Taylor | Washington Post

A new survey of 25 countries has found largely negative views of Russia and its leader, President Vladimir Putin, all around the world.

At the same time, however, Russia’s influence on the world stage is seen as growing, according to the survey data released by Pew Research Center on Thursday.

The results suggest that though Russia is facing myriad problems – including U.S. sanctions, geopolitical isolation and a ruthless reputation – Putin has found ways to project Moscow’s power globally.

In key regions like the Middle East, Moscow appears to be enjoying the kind of influence that it has not seen since the days of the Soviet Union – often challenging American interests in the process.

But while the United States and Russia are often rivals for power and influence on the global stage, in many nations Putin and President Donald Trump are viewed in a similar manner: Pew’s data showed there was considerable overlap in negative views of the two leaders.

This correlation was not seen between Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron or German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and less pronounced with Chinese President Xi Jinping. In some countries, the overlap between negative views of Putin and Trump was huge: 83 percent in Spain had negative views of both; 77 percent in France.

In contrast there was comparatively little overlap in positive views of Putin and Trump in most countries. The Philippines was the only nation where a majority, 54 percent, said they had confidence in both leaders to do the right thing in global affairs.

Putin, who has been accused of personal involvement in major international moves – like the attempt to influence the 2016 U.S. election or the attempted assassination of a former Russian spy in Britain – is viewed very negatively in a large number of the countries …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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