World trusts Putin more than Trump in foreign affairs: Pew Research Centre survey

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and US President Donald Trump shake hands during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and US President Donald Trump shake hands during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - People around the world have more confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin handling world affairs than in his US counterpart Donald Trump, a Pew Research Centre survey showed.

Of 36 countries canvassed, 22, including Germany, France and Japan, trust Putin more, according to the pollster's 2017 spring survey.

People had more confidence in Trump in 13 countries, including the United Kingdom, India and Israel.

Only Tanzanians saw them as equals.

Results from the United States, which was also part of the survey, were not included in this question, and China was not polled. Pew conducted its research from Feb 16 to May 8.

Pew said that 23 per cent of the American public had confidence in Putin, while 53 per cent share the same feeling for Trump.

Globally, a median 60 per cent of people in 37 countries, including the US, said they lack confidence in the Russian leader's actions in world affairs, versus 26 per cent who said he's doing a good job. About a third of the nations surveyed see Russia as a major threat to their country, similar to the level of concern caused by China and US.

The survey was taken before Trump signed a bill deepening sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and the Kremlin retaliated by ordering the US to slash staff at its diplomatic missions.

 Tensions have also risen as Congress and the FBI move forward on probes into potential ties between Trump's team and Russia during the 2016 US presidential election. Trump has called the investigation a "witch hunt."

Most Russians believe that Putin has improved their country's standing in the world, according to the survey by the Washington-based non-partisan group.

Meanwhile, American and Russian views of each other have become less harsh. The number of Russians who see the US favourably rose to 41 per cent, from 15 per cent in 2015. The positive feeling also rose among respondents in the US to 29 per cent from 22 per cent, Pew said.