International views on Russia declined, while views on NATO and the United States rose, the Pew study shows

Written by Javed Iqbal

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In a time of crisis, the international image of the United States, NATO and Russia has changed – with the view of Russia declining, and the view of the United States and NATO remains positive, even increasing, found a Pew survey of 18 nations.

In Poland, the shifts have been dramatic. Views on the US, EU and NATO have reached all-time highs – each hovering around 90 per cent – since the question was first asked in 2007. And views on Russia fell from a third of Poles who shared a positive stance in 2019 to a paltry 2 per cent in 2022.

Overall, Russia experienced a steep decline in its favorability since 2020. All 18 countries surveyed recorded record low shares in positive attitudes from the nation – even though Russia was already seen in a relatively unfavorable light.

A median of 85 percent across nations saw Russia unfavorable this year. In the United States, the positive view of Russia fell from 15 percent in 2020 to 7 percent this year.

Confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin also took a shot – reaching a low point in two decades in most of the places surveyed. Only a median of 9 percent across nations trusted Putin to “do the right thing in world affairs.”

Sixty percent felt the same about President Biden, though his ratings dropped in most countries during the year.

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Among 11 NATO countries and Sweden, a median of two-thirds had positive attitudes towards the military alliance. Sweden’s position in NATO has grown gradually positively over the last six years. In 2016, only 58 percent of Swedes surveyed had a positive view of NATO; the number gradually increased to about 70 percent in 2021. Even during the weeks of surveys in 2022, the numbers grew further – from 77 percent around the beginning of March to 84 percent in mid-April.

Views of the United States remained broadly positive at about 60 percent, the poll found. But while a median of 79 percent found the United States to be “a reliable partner,” a similar percentage described U.S. party conflicts as strong or very strong. In most of the countries surveyed, the view of US reliability as a partner was strengthened during the year – including by 25 percent in South Korea.

In Poland, ratings of the United States are at a record high; only 3 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view of the nation. It should be compared to more than 30 percent with unfavorable American views in e.g. Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The Pew Research Center highlighted Poland, which the center said had seen a “dramatic shift in attitudes” since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 94 percent of Poles surveyed have “no confidence at all” in Putin and see Russia as a major threat – with the latter up from 65 percent in 2018.

At the same time, Poland, which was formerly part of the Eastern bloc of the Soviet Union and is now a member of both NATO and the EU, logged record high views of the United States, the EU and NATO.

Associate Director of Global Attitude Research, Jacob Poushter, told The Washington Post that “Polish attitudes toward foreign affairs are influenced by domestic policy considerations.”

In general, he said, people who have unfavorable views on the ruling Party of Law and Justice (PiS) tend to view the EU more positively, saying the 27-member bloc promotes prosperity and respects Polish values. And the same goes for the reverse.

The 2022 Global Attitudes Survey data collection involved nearly 20,000 adults in 18 countries – including Canada, Sweden, Singapore, Israel, Poland and France – between mid-February and mid-May, with data collection in most countries beginning briefly. after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The United States was also surveyed on views on Russia and NATO.

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Javed Iqbal

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