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As NATO leaders prepare to celebrate the alliance’s 70th anniversary in Washington next week, a majority of Americans and plurality of Russians agree that unity amongst the NATO allies is weaker today than 10 years ago. According to a new binational survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Levada Analytical Center, a plurality of both the American and Russian publics think that US-EU relations are worsening though a strong US majority still views Europe as a partner.

Key findings from the report include:

  • A majority of Americans (57%) and a plurality of Russians (40%) believe that unity among NATO allies is weaker today than it was ten years ago.
  • Nearly one in two Americans think that relations with the European Union are worsening (46%). A similar proportion says that relations with Russia (50%) and China (47%, plurality) are deteriorating. Still, Americans clearly view Europe as more of a partner (78%) than a rival (18%).
  • Russians more decisively consider the European Union to be Russia’s rival (50%) than a partner (37%). Younger Russians—between the age of 18 and 29—are more likely to view the European Union as a partner (46% vs. 43% rival) than those age 30 and over.

For more findings, graphics, and methodology, download the full report here.


The analysis in this report is based on data from a joint Chicago Council-Levada Analytical Center survey on Russian and American Attitudes conducted in February 2019.

The US survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs using their national online omnibus service, KnowledgePanel™, between February 22-25, 2019 among a weighted national sample of 1,016 American adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error is ±3 percentage points.

The Russia survey was conducted between February 14-20, 2019 by the Levada-Center (Levada Analytical Center) with face-to-face interviews conducted among a representative sample of 1,613 persons aged 18 years and older, living in eight federal districts of the Russian Federation. Inside each district, the sample is distributed among five strata of settlements proportionally to the number of population living in them, 18 years of age or older. The margin of error is ±3.4 percentage points.

The 2019 and 2017 Chicago Council-Levada Analytical Center Joint Surveys on Russian and American Attitudes are made possible by the generous support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Chicago Council Public Opinion research is a project of the Lester Crown Center on US Foreign Policy, and this project is made possible by the generous support of the Crown family and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.