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Less Than Half of Russians Expect Better U.S. Ties Under Trump

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Less than half of Russians expect U.S.-Moscow ties to improve under incoming President Donald Trump, a report by independent pollster the Levada Center has revealed.

Just 45 percent of respondents said that relations would improve thanks to the new Republican administration, compared to 54 percent of respondents in November 2016.

One in ten Russians said that they believed ties would worsen under Trump, up from 3 percent just two months ago. Some 29 percent said that relations would remain the same, while 15 percent of respondents were unable to answer.

The figures still show a marked improvement from the beginning of the Obama era in 2008, when only 34 percent of Russians believed that Moscow and Washington would become closer under the incoming administration.

Trump's election overshadowed all other events for Russian citizens in the past four weeks, including the country's New Year celebrations, the survey found. When asked which global or national events they remembered above “all else” in the last month, 42 percent of Russians named the Trump's victory, putting it above the New Year holidays and the crash of Russia's Tu-154 aircraft in the Black Sea.

The survey was carried out between Jan. 20 – 23. Some 1,600 people in 137 settlements across 48 Russian regions took part, according to Levada data.

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