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9 Feb, 2022 18:45

Poll shows if EU nations fear ‘likely’ Russian invasion

Many Europeans have come to believe an invasion of Ukraine is imminent
Poll shows if EU nations fear ‘likely’ Russian invasion

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has released a new poll suggesting that the majority of people in countries like Germany, Poland, and Sweden say that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is “likely” before the end of the year. However, when asked if they wanted their country to be involved in “defending” Ukraine, only the Polish respondents were likely to agree.

A majority of respondents polled in Poland, Romania, Sweden, Germany, Italy, and France believe an invasion of Ukraine is “highly” or “fairly” likely this year, with Polish and Romanian citizens fearing an invasion the most. Over 70% of respondents from Poland believe an invasion could happen, while over 60% of Romanian respondents hold the same belief. 

“In Poland, for reasons of history and geography, respondents see the prospect of a Russian invasion as an existential crisis,” the authors of the survey concluded. 

In the instance of such an “invasion” actually happening – something Moscow has denied is being planned, despite insistence from the US government and others – European respondents want NATO, the European Union (EU), or the US to come to Ukraine’s aid. 

Over 60% said NATO “should defend” Ukraine, while 60% and 54% want its defense coming from the EU or the US, respectively. 

While a majority see the Ukraine situation as a security threat to the region as a whole, most would not like to see their own countries get involved in an invasion scenario. Out of the countries polled, only Poland had a majority (65%) who believe their country should come to Ukraine’s defense if an invasion occurs. Over 40% of respondents from Sweden, France, and Italy believe their countries should come to Ukraine’s defense. A majority of respondents from Finland believe they “should not defend” Ukraine, while just 21% want their government to defend the nation. 

Most Polish respondents, however, see NATO or the EU as the “main defenders” of Ukraine. Poland is also the only country where a majority of respondents said the negative effects of coming to the “defense” of Ukraine are worth it, those potentially being an economic downturn, refugees, and higher energy costs. 

The ECFR poll was conducted late last month among 5,529 respondents from Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Sweden.