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US leadership’s approval rating in Russia hits new low: Poll

Only one percent of Russians approved of American leaders and their actions in 2015, a Gallup poll has found, the lowest record measured in the past decade.

The new survey, published last week, marked a 3-point drop compared to 2014, when 4 percent of Russians expressed their approval of American leaders.

The figure “reflects the increasingly tense relations with the US since the crisis in Ukraine and the threat that many Russians, as well as residents of several former Soviet states, feel the US now poses to their countries,” Gallup’s Julie Ray wrote.

Relations between Russia and the West specially strained after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17, 2014 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier.

The United States and its European allies have imposed a harsh regime of economic sanctions against Russia, accusing Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine. Moscow, however, rejects having a hand in the crisis gripping the Eastern European state.

The US-led NATO military alliance have also been deploying troops and heavy weaponry on Russian borders since it cut ties with Moscow in 2014, a move that Moscow has pledged to respond accordingly.

Following Russia in the poll were Commonwealth of Independent State (CIS) countries like Belarus (9 percent), and Kazakhstan (8 percent) that again dominated the list of least-approving nations in 2015.

Palestine with 9 percent was the only non-CIS country or region at the top of the list.

Despite the low approval ratings in some countries, the US leadership image remained mostly unchanged between 2014 and 2015, according to the survey, with the median approval remaining at 59%.

Approval for the American leadership continued to be the strongest worldwide in Africa in 2015, bolstered by majority approval in 19 sub-Saharan African countries.

The poll’s results were based on Gallup surveys in 132 countries and areas in 2015.d97c066e-24f4-4c10-a399-d5d207613fbf

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