anti-Western sentiments in Russia

The number of Russians who call the relations between Russia and the US hostile have increased by more than 10 times (from 4 to 42 percent). These results of the survey by Levada Center were published by the newspaper “Vedomosti”.

According to the survey, 71 percent of Russians have negative attitude towards the EU. In this case, 40 percent believe that Russia should strengthen the relations with the West, while 36 percent suggest distancing from it.

“In 25 years of surveying, today Russians exhibit the worst attitude towards the West and the United States which is related to the situation around Ukraine and the lack of understanding by Russians of the nature of the sanctions,”- said in an interview with Vedomosti the deputy director of Levada Center Alexei Grazhdankin. He noted that anti-Western sentiments in Russia have peaked.

According to the sociologist, respondents explain the hostile policy towards Russia by economic reasons, but they are cautious about the country’s position on the world stage: some believe that Russia’s economic development is not as successful as it looked before the crisis in 2008, others think that Russia lags behind the West since it is being squeezed out of the economic space for being a fast-growing competitor. At the same time, Russians consider the current situation rather a historical misunderstanding, which will end at some point, and the relations will be restored, says the sociologist.

On January 29, a meeting of the EU foreign ministers took place, where it has been decided to extend the sanctions introduced in March 2014 (travel ban and freezing of accounts) against some Russian natural and legal persons and representatives of Donbass militia until September 2015 (altogether the list includes 132 people and 28 companies). Ministers also agreed to meet on February 9 to expand the blacklists by adding new names. Thanks, in particular, to Greece, the decision on another package of restrictive measures against Moscow has been postponed. The EU expects that Russia will put pressure on the militia to fulfill their Minsk Agreements.

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