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Record-high number of Russians think their country has significant international clout

Record-high number of Russians think their country has significant international clout
The percentage of Russians who consider their country to have significant influence in the international arena has a reached historical high of 86 percent, state-run public opinion research center VTSIOM reported.

This is up from 75 percent last year, VTSIOM researchers stated in a report released on Wednesday. Over the same period, the number of ‘skeptics,’ or those who feel that Russia has little influence on international politics, fell from 18 to 10 percent, they added.

The report also reveals that the amount of ‘skeptics’ was slightly higher among those who described themselves as supporters of non-parliamentary opposition parties and people who reported their material situation to be ‘bad’ or ‘very bad.’

The authors also said that the common belief just three years ago that Russia could become a great world power has, to a large extent, transformed into certainty that this has already happened, with 57 percent expressing the latter opinion, and 31 percent saying they expect the situation to be true within the next few decades.

Only 10 percent said that Russia will never become one of the leading countries of the world.

Separate research on the opinions of Russians regarding their country’s position and role in world politics, conducted in February 2016, showed that over 40 percent thought that Western nations only view Russia as a competitor, while 30 percent said that Western countries treat Russia as an enemy. Fifteen percent said that US-Russia relations were an equal partnership and five percent replied that Westerners do not have any special approach to their country. Four percent said that the West treats Russia as a friend.

Back then, 25 percent of the respondents said that the Russian economy was not developed enough for the country to be included in the list of leading nations. Four percent said they blamed resistance from Western nations for Russia lagging behind, and three percent thought that the main reason was a lack of democracy in the country, or a lack of general stability in Russia’s political system.