58% Ukrainians support joining EU, 54% in favor of NATO, IRI Ukraine poll shows

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (left) with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv in 2019

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (left) with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Kyiv, 31 October 2019 Source: president.gov.ua 

International, Ukraine

The majority of Ukrainians support the country’s accession to the EU and NATO, according to the results of a survey commissioned by the American nonpartisan nonprofit International Republican Institute.

At the IRI’s latest public opinion survey in Ukraine, the researchers asked Ukrainians which international economic union they would prefer to join if Ukraine had only one choice. More than half of respondents (58%) chose the European Union, while less than a quarter of those (21%) said that they would support Ukraine’s accession to the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

When asked how they would vote if a referendum on Ukraine’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization takes place, 54% of Ukrainians said they would be in favor of joining NATO.

“In the face of Russian military aggression, Ukrainians remain supportive of both NATO and EU membership,” said Stephen Nix, Director of IRI’s Eurasia Division, in his comment published on the IRI website. “The accession into a strong community of democracies will strengthen economic opportunities and bolster defenses against foreign threats.”

Additionally, the survey also shows that many Ukrainians are concerned about personal economic issues, and one-third of Ukrainians (31%) are “somewhat” or “very” unwilling to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Commissioned by the Center for Analysis and Sociological Research (CISR) of the International Republican Institute, the poll was conducted between 6 and 15 November 2021 by one of the major Ukrainian pollsters, the Sociological Group “Rating,” throughout all of Ukraine, except for the Russia-occupied territories of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. During the survey, 2,400 residents of Ukraine aged 18 and older were interviewed face-to-face at their homes, while the final results were weighted based on the official statistical data on region, age, and gender distribution. According to IRI, the margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level doesn’t exceed 2%.

Pro-EU/NATO trends rising, anti-accession attitudes on the same level

Earlier the Rating Group’s own survey conducted on 4-9 November across the nation except for the Russian-occupied areas showed similar results: 62% of Ukrainians would support Ukraine’s accession to the EU would they be asked it on a referendum, 32% would vote against. As for NATO, 58% favored joining this military alliance, 35% wouldn’t support it.

In general, the Rating Group’s data from their surveys of 2013-2021 show steady upward trends in pro-accession public attitudes and roughly the same average percentages of EU and NATO skeptic trends in Ukraine.

58% Ukrainians support joining EU, 54% in favor of NATO, IRI Ukraine poll shows ~~

Ukrainians supported joining the EU even before the beginning of the Russian aggression in early 2014 while being more skeptical about Ukraine’s NATO membership. The support for NATO accession skyrocketed in 2014 with Russia’s occupation of Crimea and invasion of the eastern regions.

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