In a development that is bound to make Russian President Vladimir Putin sick to his stomach, a new poll released Thursday by Gallup indicates that Americans are beginning to view Russia in a more positive light and perceive the rival superpower as less of a threat.
However, Americans still have an overall negative perspective of Russia, with the poll finding that 65 percent of respondents viewed the country unfavorably. That said, 30 percent of respondents have a favorable view of Russia, compared to 24 percent in 2015.
"Russia's image has become slightly less negative this year among U.S. adults, although it remains near the lowest level Gallup has recorded," the Gallup poll said. "After a period of several years that Putin has expressed criticism of the U.S., harbored alleged cyberterrorist Edward Snowden, restricted gay rights in his country and annexed Crimea, Americans do not have the same positive feelings toward Russia than in the halcyon period following the end of the Cold War."
Age had a clear effect on whether respondents viewed Russia favorably, reported The Hill. Young Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 had the most positive view of Russia with a favorability rating of 43 percent. This was in stark contrast to those aged 55 and older, who lived through Cold War era when the U.S. and Russia were enemies, giving the country a 21 percent favorability rating.
The poll also found that despite Russia taking a more active role in Syria, as well as its role in the Ukranian conflict, only 39 percent of respondents perceive Russia's military as a "critical threat" to the U.S. - a 10 percent decrease from a year ago.
Though Americans still have a less than favorable view of Russia, Russians view Americans an even more negative light. A Levada Center poll from a year ago found that over 80 percent of Russians viewed negatively, while over 70 percent of them viewed the E.U. negatively, according to the Moscow Times.
The Gallup poll was conducted from Feb. 3-7 with 1,021 American adults and a margin of error of 4 percentage points.