Russia has once again earned the lowest approval ratings among major world powers in a survey conducted by Washington-based Gallup. In its survey, Gallup interviewed more than 1,000 people from 134 countries, asking “Do you approve or disapprove of the job performance of the leadership of____?” It was Russia’s eighth consecutive year at the bottom.
U.S. led by Obama tops the list
United States under President Barack Obama received the highest approval rating for the second year in a row. Gallup said 45% of the participants worldwide voted favorably of the U.S. leadership, down from 46% last year and 49% in 2009. Within the U.S., 42% respondents approved of Obama in 2014. The U.S. leadership received the most negative rating in Russia, where only 4% participants said they saw Washington in a positive light.
Germany came second with 41% positive rating. Germany’s rating rose in Eurozone countries that received bailouts, except for Greece. It was followed by the European Union with 39% approval rating. China’s leadership had only 29% positive rating. Majority in 28 countries, including the U.S., disapproved of the Chinese leadership.
Russia had only 22% approval rating. Its ranking has declined sharply in Western countries following its intervention in Ukraine and subsequent annexation of Crimea. In Ukraine, only 5% respondents viewed Moscow’s leadership favorably. But Vladimir Putin still has a strong approval rating within Russia. According to Gallup, a whopping 83% of Russia respondents approved of Putin.
Russia feels much more negatively about the U.S.
The overall results are similar to those in the last six years. But Western countries, especially the members of NATO, “soured on Russia dramatically.” Meanwhile, Russia and its former republics such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Krygyzstan, all felt “much more negatively” about the leadership of the United States, EU and Germany. Russian’s disapproval of the U.S. almost doubled from 42% in 2013 to 82% in 2014. About 70% of Russians disapproved of the EU leadership, up from 26% in 2013.
Gallup said the rising difference between the attitudes of Russia and the West was “troubling.” It does not bode well for future negotiations as public attitudes may affect foreign policy.