The majority of South Koreans, Mexicans, Germans and Vietnamese have greater trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Donald Trump to do right on the world stage, according to a Pew poll released Tuesday.
Citizens from 37 countries were asked about their confidence in Putin and Trump to “do the right thing in global affairs.” The poll found that while confidence in Putin is very low, in many countries, including certain key U.S. allies, it surpasses confidence in Trump.
The survey was conducted February 16 to May 8 of this year, prior to Trump’s aggressive nuclear posturing toward North Korea. Respondents were also polled before Trump signed a sweeping Russia sanctions bill into law after it received bipartisan support from lawmakers eager to punish Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Confidence in Putin relative to Trump is highest in Greece and Lebanon. In both countries trust in Putin outpaces Trump by 31 percentage points. Trust in Putin also exceeded trust in Trump by double digit percentage points in Vietnam, Germany, Tunisia, Mexico and South Korea. Alternatively, Trump enjoys a substantial advantage over Putin in trust numbers in Israel (28 points), Nigeria and Poland (both 19 points) and Kenya (18 points).
In the U.S. there is a substantial partisan divide in the perception of Russia as a threat, 61 percent of Democrats polled agreed with the statement “Russia’s power and influence is a major threat to our country,” compared to just 36 percent of Republicans.
Overall, good will toward Russia is low, a favorable view of Russia was the majority opinion in only three of the countries surveyed: Vietnam (83 percent), Greece (64 percent) and the Philippines (55 percent). Despite widespread disapproval, the vast majority of those surveyed do not view Russia as a major threat to their nation.
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