The German Marshall Fund of the United States has released its 2014 Transatlantic Trends survey, an annual survey which is the preeminent source of European and American public polling data on a host of transatlantic issues. The survey, the 13th of its kind, incorporated the views of Russian citizens for the second time. Respondents participated during June of 2014, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea but before the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

Constanze Stelzenmüller, German Marshall Fund’s senior transatlantic fellow in Berlin, presented the survey at the Carnegie Moscow Center. Lev Gudkov, director of the Levada Center, provided comments. Carnegie’s Dmitri Trenin moderated.

Discussion Highlights

  • Transatlantic Relationship: Stelzenmüller argued that Americans and Europeans disagree on the future of the transatlantic relationship. Most Europeans support a more independent transatlantic relationship, while the United States looks for more burden sharing.
  • Russia and the West: According to the survey, Russian respondents have an increasingly unfavorable view of the United States and the European Union. However, Russians see opportunity to work with emerging powers such as China and India. Americans and Europeans also had more negative outlooks toward Russia in 2014 than previous years, Stelzenmüller said.
  • Ukraine Issue: Transatlantic majorities support sanctions against Russia and want to continue their economic and political support of Ukraine despite of the risk of increasing conflict with Russia, Stelzenmüller said. At the same time, a majority of Russians said they want to continue their influence over Ukraine even if it means conflict with the EU.
  • Russian Domestic Politics: Gudkov added that Russians are increasingly supportive of their domestic leadership, principally President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. But Stelzenmüller argued that under the current Russian leadership, Russia will not have a cooperative relationship with the EU.