Norwegians disapprove of Putin most in world

A global opinion survey has shown that 89% of Norwegians disapprove of Putin, a higher share of the population than any other country in the world.

Norwegians disapprove of Putin most in world
Russian President at a recent meeting with the President of Argentina.Photo:
In the Gallup survey, respondents were asked whether they approved or disapproved of the leaders of the US, China, Russia, the EU and Germany.
The Russian leadership received the lowest approval among the 21 countries polled, with only 22% approving of Putin,  a drop of 10%  since the last poll in 2013. 
Putin got the highest approval ratings in the post-Soviet states. The strongest disapproval of Russian leadership was in Western countries, with Norway heading the list followed by the Netherlands and Finland.
“A contributing factor is probably Russia’s significant military activity in 2014 that was also tied to Norway and the Baltic states.” Geir Flikke, a Russia expert at Oslo University told Aftenposten
Flikke says that Norwegians have come to expect co-operation from Russia and that recent events are a break with the past.
“Russia's behaviour in 2014 clashes strongly with that expectation and may have led to a pendulum effect.” He said, adding that Finland and Sweden show a similar pattern.


Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament

Norway's government on Tuesday said that it believes Russia was behind an August cyber attack targeting the email system of the country's parliament.

Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament
The parliament building in Oslo. File photo: AFP

The attack was detected in August, when Norway announced hackers had attacked the parliament's email system, gaining access to some lawmakers' messages.

“Based on the information the government has, it is our view that Russia is responsible for these activities,” foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said in a statement.

The foreign ministry did not specify what information prompted its conclusions, but encouraged companies to follow guidelines on cyber security.

“This is a very serious incident, affecting our most important democratic institution,” she added.

In its annual threat assessment published in February, Norway's PST domestic intelligence service warned of “computer network operations” which they said represented a “persistent and long-term threat to Norway”.

In 2018, NATO member Norway arrested a Russian national suspected of gathering information on the parliament's internet network, but released him several weeks later due to lack of evidence.

The two countries, which share a common border in the Arctic, have generally enjoyed good relations but those have become strained since Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

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