The most recent opinion polls suggest Russian President Vladimir Putin is the most trusted foreign leader for the Serbian nationals, gaining support from 58% of the polled Serbs, the iPolitika newspaper said on Wednesday.

Politika and the survey research agency Faktor Plus carried out two independent opinion polls between March 9 and 13. Those surveyed were asked to choose several foreign leader they trust most of all in the descending order – from the most trusted to the least. The results of both surveys were the same – the level of support for the Russian president was 58% German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the second most trusted foreign leader gaining support of 42% of the surveyed Serbian citizens.

Chinese President Xi Jinping came third, gaining support from 34% of those polled, followed by US President Donald Trump (22%). Next came British Prime Minister Theresa May (16%), French President Emmanuel Macron (16%) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (7%).

The newspaper noted that Putin’s approval rating in Serbia practically matched the level of his popularity in Russia, where he is supported by 57.7% of the polled Russian nationals according to the most recent survey by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center.

Putin’s approval ratings have remained very high in Serbia for years, no matter what methods of survey research were used. The newspaper also said that when the polled Serbian nationals were asked to choose only one candidate, support for the Russian leader surged to more than 70%.