bne:Chart - Politics of hate: Russian hostility to EU soars

By bne IntelliNews October 28, 2014

Henry Kirby in London -


Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said in October that relations between Russia and the US are at a post-Soviet "rock bottom." But more worrying, relations with the EU have also sunk to a record low: a poll out October 21 shows that Russians have never held a more negative view of the EU than they do today.

The independent pollster Levada Center found that the number of Russians that see the EU in a negative light has risen to 66% - by far the highest level since the survey was launched over a decade ago.

The result is worrying. Russians have always been slightly stand offish with the US, their former nemesis in the Cold War and the same poll found that Russia's disapproval here is even higher: 82% of Russians view the US in a negative light.

Since the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago, the east and west were supposed to embrace one another in a new spirit of global brotherhood and for most part that has been the case: the number of Russians who see Russia's relations with the US as specifically hostile has been in the low single digits for the last decade and was only 4% at the start of this year. That number has soared to 39% as of October 12, the Levada Center found.

A certain prickliness with the world's only remaining superpower is perhaps understandable. But what is really scary is the rapid decay in relations with the rest of Europe; Russia is at the end of the day a European country with significant business and cultural ties with the rest of the Continent. But as the chart below shows, relations with Europe have gone from normal to bad in the space of nine months as hostility has soared since the start of this year.



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