Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama in St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 5© RIA Novosti. Alexey Kudenko
WASHINGTON, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – Americans think Russian President Vladimir Putin was far and away the most effective world leader in dealing with the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, with US President Barack Obama trailing him in a distant second place, a new poll shows.
Nearly half of 1,000 American adults polled – 49 percent – said Putin was the most effective at dealing with the still ongoing crisis in Syria, with 25 percent saying Obama was the most effective, the poll released Wednesday by the Economist magazine and the YouGov polling agency said.
Nine percent chose Syrian leader Bashar Assad, ranking him third, ahead of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande, all of whom polled in the single digits.
Obama did beat Putin by a huge margin on another question in the poll – which leader was the least effective on Syria. Forty-four percent said Obama was the least effective and just 10 percent said the same of Putin, the survey showed.
Asked if they thought Syria was negotiating in good faith about surrendering its chemical weapons, or just stalling, 60 percent said they thought Damascus was playing for time, and only 14 percent said Assad’s regime was acting in good faith.
The poll was conducted online from Sept. 21-23 among respondents who signed up to be on YouGov’s Internet panel.
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The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.