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Germans, Russians trust each other less and less

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Germans, Russians trust each other less and less
No love lost: Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin meet in Moscow. Photo: DPA
11:38 CEST+02:00
Despite so-called Putin-sympathizers and eastern Germany's historic link to Mother Russia, a new poll shows that German and Russian opinions of one another have soured dramatically in recent years.

A poll by Pew Research Center released on Wednesday showed that the percentage of Germans who viewed Russia positively dropped from half the population in 2010 to 27 percent this year.

Similarly, the number of Russians who said they viewed Germany favourably tumbled from 78 percent in 2011 to 35 percent in 2015.

Though the number of Germans who liked Russia actually saw a bump over the past year, up from a low in 2014 of 19 percent favourability, the general trend has been on a downward path since even before the Ukraine conflict began to escalate in 2014 with the Russian annexation of Crimea.

German, Russian Views of Each Other Soured Even Before Ukraine Fighting

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has played an active role in negotiations with Russia and Ukraine in mediating tensions between Russia and the Ukraine.

Last month, Merkel joined further ceasefire talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and French President François Hollande.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev recently urged Moscow and Berlin to "re-establish trust" amid fierce tension caused by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Of the European countries surveyed, Poland had the most negative views of Russia, with 80 percent saying they had an unfavourable opinion of the country compared to just 15 percent with positive views.

Germany expressed the fourth-highest percentage of dislike for Russia at 70 percent, tied with France.

Even more Germans expressed disapproval of Putin, with 76 percent saying they had an unfavourable opinion of the Russian President.

Spain held the most negative views of the Russian leader with 92 percent expressing dislike of Putin and only 6 percent reporting favourability.

In contrast, Vietnam seemed to have quite high opinions of Putin with 70 percent of Vietnamese polled saying they held positive views of the president. Seventy-five percent of Vietnamese also said they held positive opinions of Russia as a country.

 
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