Russians are no longer worried about US
The number of Russians who perceive the United States as a security threat to other countries has declined significantly. According to a survey conducted by the Levada Center, 69% of respondents answered positively to the question whether the United States is currently a threat to other countries. In 2015, 71% of respondents said about the negative role of the US.
The experts noted that this is the lowest registered level. Thus, in February 2015, this opinion was expressed by 77% of respondents. Ten years ago, 73% of respondents answered positively to this question, Interfax reports.
In addition, the number of respondents who believe that the United States does not represent any danger to the world increased to 17%. In 2006, the number was 16% and in 2015 - 13%.
According to 57% of respondents, ensuring a peaceful and secure existence of the country should be the priority of the Russian leadership, 51% of respondents were in favor of restoring the authority of the Russian Federation as one of the most influential countries in the world.
In addition, 42% of Russians believe that the protection of domestic producers should be the priority of the Russian leadership in its foreign policy, 26% - maintaining friendly relations with the most developed countries, 18% - settlement of conflicts in 'hot spots', countering terrorism threat in conjunction with other countries, 16% - the policy of containment, opposition to the West's expansion and growth of the US influence, 13% - expanding the boundaries of the Russian influence in the world.
The director of the Center for Political Information, Alexei Mukhin, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, explained that it's not a record decline in the hostility of Russians against the US, it is an assurance. "The fact is that the population feels more confident about the future after the Russian military operation in Syria. Because, as it became clear, a broad coalition under the US leadership cannot cope with Daesh for various reasons and Russia turned the course of events in Syria. Therefore, it became clear that the Russian armed forces are competitive with NATO armed forces," the expert said.
Answering the question of whether this could indicate a fall of interest in foreign policy among Russians, the political scientist noted that attention to foreign policy is one of the drivers in the elections and the political life in general. "The news marked as 'international politics' are very popular among Russians," Alexei Mukhin concluded.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, said that it's not a decline in hostility. "I think that to some extent it is linked with the position of our leadership, which takes all of these issues with NATO and the United States very stable, does not raise a panic and seems pretty relaxed about all this. To some extent, this calm is being transferred to the population. If Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev are quite restrained, then there is no threat of conflict," the expert believes.
"As for the attention to foreign policy, its level has always been traditionally high among Russians and fell only in the 90s, but the interest has increased again after Vladimir Putin’s accession to power and is unlikely to subside, given our position in Ukraine and Syria," Andrei Suzdaltsev pointed out.