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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Ukrainians are disappointed in the EU and NATO

The survey, conducted by Ukrainian sociologists, recorded: the number of supporters of the country’s entry into the EU and NATO for six months decreased by 10%. Commenting on the survey, the experts disagreed. Some believe that the Ukrainians really disappointed in the realization of the ideals of the Maidan. Others think that to do conclusions while early.

The number of supporters of Ukraine’s accession to NATO and the EU since the beginning of the year decreased by 10%. On Monday reported the Agency “Interfax-Ukraine”, citing a poll.

“People are beginning to understand that the way of Ukraine – several other”

The study was conducted in the framework of the project “Reset – open government” the Institute of analysis and forecasting, Ukrainian Institute of social research named after Alexander Yaremenko and the Social monitoring center with the support of the Kiev press club.

According to sociologists, if next Sunday a referendum on the question of Ukraine joining NATO, the membership voted would 37.7% of respondents, against the 38.2%. Would not take part in the vote to 14.5% were undecided and 9.7%.

“In the beginning of the year we had 59% of respondents who would support Ukraine’s accession to the EU, now this percentage has decreased. Also 10% and decreased the percentage of those who support Ukraine’s accession to NATO”, – stated the Director of the center “Social monitoring” Dmitry Dmitruk during the presentation of the study Monday in Kiev.

Note that on 9 July the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko announced: among Ukrainians the number of supporters of NATO membership has recently increased from 13 to 23 percent, which is the real result of changes in society.” Poroshenko assured that the issue of the country’s membership in NATO will be decided by the Ukrainian people, however, the reforms for membership in the Alliance will be implemented.

Journey to the West has stalled

Thus, contrary to the statements of the head of the Polish foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski that in NATO there is a growing conviction of the need of admission of Ukraine into the Alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg opened the card, and citing the words of the Ukrainian leader. “President Poroshenko has clearly stated that the issue of membership in the Alliance currently not necessary”, – said Stoltenberg on 9 July.

Earlier, in late June, the leadership of the Alliance said that Ukraine’s entry into the case at the Kiev all the requirements will take at least five to 10 years, but the prospect of membership also depends on many other circumstances.”

With regard to European integration (enlargement mode of Association with the EU and the prospect of accession to the EU), and the process is apparently stalled. We will remind, in April, Poroshenko expressed hope that the EU will take a decision on introduction of visa-free regime for Ukrainians until June 30, while in the EU Council is chaired by the Netherlands. However, on 10 June, the EU Council at the level of heads of the Ministry of interior during the meeting in Luxembourg did not reach mutual agreement on the liberalization of the visa regime with Ukraine.

At the same time European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said earlier that the entry into the EU and NATO, Ukraine will need 20 or 25 years.

As previously noted the newspaper VIEW, the real results of “way to Europe” – the half-yearly results of the agreement on Association of Ukraine with the EU is depressing. In comparison with the first half of 2013 in January – June 2016 Ukrainian exports to the EU countries shows a drop of more than 22%. Export to the CIS countries and Georgia has fallen by 30% (compared to the same period last year).

According to the American analytical center Stratfor (which is often called a “shadow CIA”), Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Moldova, should rely on their own strength and not on the support of Brussels – and especially not on EU integration.

“The population shows disappointment”

Director of the Ukrainian Institute of policy analysis and management, political scientist Ruslan Bortnik said in an interview with the newspaper VIEW that in Ukraine in General, a decrease in interest in Pro-Western vector of development and NATO.

“In fact, the support rate for NATO membership in Ukraine has never been very high. In different periods it has reached 60%. Now really went the decline of interest in the West and NATO. On the other hand, there is a General trend. Any surveys for a long time in Ukraine, showing a decline of interest of the population at 5-10 percent,” – said the analyst.

The source added that the downward trend of interest in NATO in Ukraine will intensify.

“The population of Ukraine demonstrates the common frustration in European and Pro-Western ideas. In the absence of real help, tangible progress and prospects people are beginning to understand that the way of Ukraine is somewhat different. This is not a global process, but it is gaining momentum. Ukraine will intensify centrist type,” – said Bortnik.

“Too early to talk about reducing”

There are other opinions regarding the attitude of Ukrainians to NATO. The political scientist, the Director of the Kiev center of political researches and conflictology Michael Pogrebinsky has told in conversation with the newspaper VIEW that in Ukraine still there is no serious or significant reduction in the people’s interest to join NATO and Pro-Western course.

“Based on the data that I have, I can’t speak about any significant reduction in the interest of the population of Ukraine to NATO and rapprochement with the West. All these figures fluctuate around the statistical error. Moreover, different centers yield different results. It is very early to talk about reducing interest. In General, the past six months of different centers give approximately the following figures: approximately 35-40% of the population for NATO membership, 25-35% – “against”, – said the analyst.

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