Most of the population believe membership of the US-led military bloc is a higher priority, according to the Kiev International Institute of Sociology
The majority of Ukrainians believe that NATO membership is currently more important than joining the EU, a survey conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology has found.
According to the poll, which was conducted between September 29 and October 9 and asked 1,010 respondents living in the country about which bloc Ukraine should join first, 54% said that membership in the US-led military bloc was a higher priority. Only 24% said they preferred EU membership first, while 12% said they did not like either option. Another 10% said they could not decide.
At the same time, the number of Ukrainians who believe their country should eventually join both blocks has continued to grow, with 92% of respondents saying they were in favor of Ukraine becoming part of the EU and 89% saying they supported NATO membership.
Respondents cited long-term security as well as economic prospects as the main reasons for supporting EU accession and joining NATO.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has stated that Kiev expects to begin negotiations on EU membership before the end of the year. At the same time, he has admitted that it is unlikely that Ukraine will be able to join NATO as long as it remains engaged in a conflict with Russia.
The EU has repeatedly pledged its continued support to Ukraine and its people, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recently reiterating the bloc’s vow to assist Kiev for “as long as it takes.” However, she noted that EU membership is based on a “merit-based” accession process, and that there are “clear rules” and “milestones that have to be achieved” to become a member.
Earlier this month, the former president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, stated that Ukraine would likely be unable to join the EU anytime soon because it is “corrupt at all levels of society.”
Kiev’s NATO and EU aspirations have also been questioned by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who stated last month that Ukrainian membership in either bloc “would not promote peace” and would instead be perceived by Russia as a “provocation.”
Moscow has frequently expressed its opposition to NATO’s eastward expansion. President Vladimir Putin cited the military bloc’s involvement in Ukraine as among the key reasons when Moscow began its military operation against Kiev last year.
October 18, 2023 at 09:13PM