MOSCOW, February 25 (RIA Novosti) – More than half of Russians display a generally positive attitude toward the United States, but only 39 percent feel the same way about bilateral relations, a significant drop since last fall, according to an opinion poll released Monday by the state-run All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Study (VTsIOM).
According to the survey, 55 percent of Russian nationals view the United States positively, a 2 percent increase since September 2012. Thirty percent are negative about the United States, a 2 percent drop.
Those positive about the United States included supporters of Russia’s ruling party, United Russia (61 percent), young people (62 percent) and residents of large cities (66 percent). Those who perceived the United States negatively were mainly supporters of the Communist Party (42 percent), the elderly (42 percent) and residents of Russia’s two largest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg (40 percent).
Meanwhile, the proportion of Russians who are positive about Russian-US relations has fallen from 53 percent to 39 percent since last fall. The share of those negatively assessing bilateral relations has risen from 42 percent to 56 percent.
When asked what distances the two countries from each other, 10 percent of respondents named the United States’ “aggressive foreign policy,” and nine percent said it was a difference in political views. Six percent cited the struggle for global dominance.
Among factors bringing Russia and the United States closer, 9 percent cited economic and trade relations, while 5 percent noted the fact that many Russians live in the United States. Eight percent said nothing brings the countries together, while 60 percent were unable to name any factor.
The poll was conducted February 9-10 among 1,600 people in 138 cities, towns and villages in 46 Russian regions. The statistical margin of error did not exceed 3.4 percent.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated in recent months due in part to the United States’ passage of the so-called Magnitsky Act and Russian retaliatory measures, including a ban on Americans adopting Russian children, as well as continuing differences over the war in Syria.
Updated with new headline and lead.