A majority of Russians doubt that relations between their country and the United States will improve under President-elect Joe Biden, a new poll by the independent Levada Center has said.
Biden, who helped lead the failed push for a “reset” in U.S.-Russia ties as former President Barack Obama’s vice president, is expected to take a tougher stand against Russia than his predecessor Donald Trump. Despite Trump’s overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin, relations with Moscow deteriorated even further during his term over alleged Russian election interference.
Only 12% of Russian respondents believe that relations will improve during Biden’s presidency compared with the 46% in 2016 who said ties would improve after Trump’s election, the poll published Tuesday said.
Forty-five percent of the respondents polled in November said relations would not change under Biden and 30% said they would get worse.
Russians’ general views toward the U.S. worsened over the course of its presidential campaign, with 51% saying they see the country in a “bad” or “very bad” light compared with 46% in August.
At the same time, however, Russians are more likely to view the country positively than they were four years ago, with 35% having a “good” or “very good” view of the U.S. compared with 28% in 2016.
Levada conducted the survey among 1,607 respondents in 50 Russian regions on Nov. 19-26.