WASHINGTON, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The majority in the United States still favor a reduction in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, but the level of support for that appears less than in the past, finds a Gallup poll released Monday.
U.S. President Barack Obama is considering a plan for further reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons, beyond those agreed to in the 2011 New START treaty.
Fifty-six percent of Americans expressed support to a deal to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, while 38 percent opposed it, the March 2-3 Gallup poll shows.
This is compared to a December 2010 poll, which found that 51 percent of Americans supported the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms reductions, while 30 percent opposed them, Gallup said.
But in the past, Gallup found much greater support for the U.S.-Russian or U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms reduction agreements.
For example, 82 percent of Americans supported a 2002 agreement signed by the two countries on nuclear reductions. In 1987, 74 percent said they approved of the proposed U.S.-Soviet treaty to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear weapons from Europe and Russia, Gallup said.
Americans may be less inclined now to reduce U.S. nuclear weapons along with Russia because they do not view Russia as favorably as they did in the past, Gallup said. A Feb 7-10 poll showed that 50 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable opinion of Russia.
At the same time, the threats from countries such as Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have eroded Americans' support to further reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Gallup added.
Americans rated Iran's and the DPRK's nuclear programs as the most critical threats to the U.S. among nine foreign policy matters in a Feb. 7-10 Gallup poll. Americans in the same poll viewed Russia's military power as much less of a threat.