Russians 'deeply suspicious' of the West

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The Independent Online

Most Russians are deeply suspicious of Western organisations such as NATO and the European Union and also distrust the United Nations, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by the independent ROMIR polling agency, found that 59.7 per cent of Russians do not trust the NATO, and only 5.7 per cent trust it "in a certain degree."

It also found that 55.2 per cent don't trust the United Nations, while 50 per cent don't trust the European Union.

The poll, which queried 1,500 people, did not give a margin of error.

Several events recently have made Russians more hostile toward the West, including NATO's bombing campaign in Yugoslavia and Western criticism of the war in breakaway Chechnya.

President Vladimir Putin has tapped into that anger, calling for Russia to take a harsher stance toward the West and strengthen its diminished status in the world.