Do Russians forgive the West?
The number of Russians, interested in improving relations with the West has increased dramatically, according to the latest survey of Levada Center.
71% of respondents were in favor of the expansion of political, cultural and economic relations with Western countries - 21% more than in July 2015, Interfax reports.
At the same time, the number of those who favored distancing from the West more than halved compared to July 2015 (17% vs 37%).
70% of respondents believe that Russia is playing an important role in solving international problems, and 13% of them believe that the country's role in these issues is crucial. Only 27% of respondents have a different opinion.
Every second respondent (52%) noted that Western countries belonging to NATO should not be afraid of Russia, and 57% of respondents think Russia should be afraid of NATO countries.
It is interesting that the West's opinion on Russia is important for 44% of Russians, but 51% do not care.
The chief editor of the magazine 'Russia in Global Affairs', the Scientific Director of the Fund of Development and Support of the 'Valdai' International Discussion Club, Fyodor Lukyanov, told Vestnik Kavkaza that changes in the public opinion were due to changes in the information field. "Our public opinion is very susceptible to public promotion. Once negative propaganda weakened, the mood of the population become more positive," he pointed out.
"In this case, this is due to the result of the US elections, when all of a sudden, the man succeeded, who, not quite correctly, but, nevertheless, is considered as having positive sentiment towards Russia. Consequently, there is a different tone in the covering of the West. Such positive developments will last until the next zigzag in our relations at a high level. In fact, besides Donald Trump's victory, nothing has happened that could have such a serious effect," Fyodor Lukyanov believes.
The director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, in turn, named the different causes. "In the first place, changes in the public opinion are related to the fact that the West is completely confused about the anti-Russian sanctions. The exceptions are individual policies oriented to the former team of Barack Obama. The Russians, looking at these trends, show good will and sympathy for the Western countries, which are not experiencing steady aversion to us, in contrast to the Western establishment," he said.
According to him, the attitude of Russians to the West will only improve in the nearest future. "This is due to many reasons. In general, the situation has changed, it is clear that the Western countries are experiencing a certain guilt complex in relation to Russia. This is especially true of the Syrian project. Of course, I am not referring to certain angry politicians, but the Western public's opinion, which is clearly positive about Russia. This, incidentally, proves the success of those politicians who are in favor of cooperation with Russia," Alexey Mukhin noticed.