Two-thirds of Lithuanians don't trust US President Trump - poll

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Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump

Two-thirds of Lithuanians have no confidence in US President Donald Trump, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.

Those polled were asked if they trusted the US president and other political leaders to make the right decisions on key political issues.

Some 16.1 percent of respondents said they trusted Trump and 66.6 percent said they distrusted him. Another 17.4 percent had no opinion.

Trump's election as US president raised concerns in Lithuania and other countries over his attitude toward Russia and his unpredictability.

Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University, says that Lithuanians' distrust in Trump could be mostly due to the media uproar over the law-enforcement investigation into the US president's alleged ties to Russia.

"My hypothesis is that people in Lithuania care much less about the Mexican border issue or the so-called Dreamers, but there are a lot of controversies that are also continuously discussed in the Lithuanian media, that is, the probe into the Russian ties of Trump and those around him," he told reporters while presenting the results of the poll.

According to the professor, the results of this and other polls suggest that Lithuanians often do not associate Trump with Washington's political decisions.

"The attitude toward the US president doesn't reflect Lithuania's attitude toward the US as a strategic partner," he said.

Putin as much distrusted as Trump

Respondents were also asked if they had confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

The poll found Putin being as much distrusted by Lithuanians as Trump.

Sixteen percent of those polled said they trusted the Russian president to make the right decisions and 69 percent said they distrusted him. Another 15 percent had no opinion.

"I think the attitude to President Putin is based on Russia's foreign policy of recent years under his leadership and domestic policies regarding the opposition and human rights," Vilpišauskas said.

Thirty-two percent of respondents trusted Juncker and 24 percent did not trust him. As much as 44 percent had no opinion.

Sixty-seven percent had confidence in Grybauskaitė's decisions and 27 percent had no confidence. The remaining 6 percent had no opinion.

The pollster Norstat LT interviewed 1,000 people in Lithuania aged between 18 and 74 years on Oct. 20-Nov. 13, 2017.

The poll was conducted and published in partnership with the Institute of International Relations and Political Science and the Baltic News Service.

Source: BNS
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