Monday, August 13, 2007
Russia and the West Continued ...
A July poll by the Levada Group has some interesting polling data. 74 percent of Russians polled see Russia as a distinct "Eurasian" state with its own path for development; this is up from 53 percent in 2001. Only 10 percent see Russia as "Western" (and only 7 percent as "Eastern"--understood here to mean "Asian").
What I also found interesting was the comments about Russia's "split" view of the United States. As Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy head of the Levada Center, noted:
"When we speak about the United States as a geopolitical player, it is portrayed as an adversary. When we consider business cooperation, it is a partner. And if we ask Russians about their attitude to Americans as a nation, there will be many more positive answers. Our leaders' moves do not influence our attitude to the people ..."
(At any rate, the overall assessment of the U.S. has fluctuated a great deal over the last few months. 48 percent negative in the aftermath of the Munich security conference in the spring, down to 36 percent following the Kennebunkport summit.)