Three-fourths of Ukrainians oppose Minsk accords in current form, poll shows

Minsk agreements

Left to right: Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka standing next to the participants of a Normandy format summit - Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, shortly after the representatives of Ukraine, Russian, and OSCE had signed the so-called Minsk-2 deal. Minsk, February 2014. Photo: Wikipedia 

War in Donbas

A poll by one of Ukraine’s major pollsters found that 75% of Ukrainians want to revise or reject the infamous Minsk agreements, signed by the representatives of Ukraine, Russia, OSCE in 2014 and 2015 amid major Russian offensives in Ukraine’s easternmost Donbas region. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s political leadership and the international allies of Ukraine see the Minsk accords as an option without alternatives to settle or resolve the conflict in the Donbas that has been ongoing to this day.

The accords were supposed to stop the fighting in eastern Ukraine, but several paragraphs of the documents turned out to be impossible to implement for both Ukraine and Russia, leading the negotiation process to an effective gridlock from the very beginning to this day.

3/4 of Ukrainians don’t support the Minsk agreements

An early-December nation-wide opinion poll conducted by the Rating Group showed that the majority of Ukrainians (54%) believe that the Minsk accords should be revised and new ones signed instead, while 21% believes that it’s necessary for Ukraine to withdraw from the negotiation process and make decisions on the Donbas on its own without international mediators involved. This means that a total of 75% of respondents are against the Minsk accords in their current form. The opinion that Ukraine must fully implement the Minsk accords is favored by only 12% of Ukrainians.

Among the options for the format of negotiations on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas, a relative majority (45%) support the idea of ​​expanding the Normandy format by engaging the United States and Britain as negotiators. Meanwhile, 46% support Turkey’s involvement in negotiations on the Donbas with the same number opposing the idea.

21% of the pollees are in favor of direct talks with Russia, 12% support direct negotiations with representatives of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics.”. Meanwhile, 56% would be in favor of direct negotiations with Russia as a non-alternative solution, 41% would be against.

Only 11% support the Normandy format in its current composition which includes the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany to be a platform for negotiations on the settlement of the conflict in the Donbas.

Minsk agreements

Two-thirds of respondents claimed that they are superficially familiar with the content of the Minsk agreements, a quarter had no idea know about their points at all. Only 11% of respondents said they were well acquainted with the essence of these documents.

The majority favors visa regime with Russia

To this day, Russians can cross the Ukrainian border without visas. In two years, the number of supporters of the idea of ​​introducing visas with the Russian Federation grew up above 50% – today 52% of Ukrainians support this idea, while 44% are against it.

Country’s allies and foes

Russia remains the arch-enemy for Ukrainians, according to the Rating Group poll, as 72% of respondents see it as a hostile country – for 53% it’s definitely hostile, while 19% of Ukrainian see it as rather hostile. Only 12% see Russia as an ally with the options “definitely” and “rather” an ally favored by 6% each.

Belarus is considered hostile by 48% of Ukrainians – rather hostile by 32%, and definitely hostile by other 16%. In recent years, the Rating Group says, only 22% considered Belarus, now this attitude has doubled.

The biggest ally of Ukraine is Poland followed by the United States, Canada, Lithuania, and the United Kingdom, according to the combined data of the “definitely an ally” and “rather an ally” replies. The allies’ big five are followed by Turkey, France, and Germany which generally are “rather allies”, according to the poll data.

China is neither foe nor ally, as the poll results show that Ukrainians consider it more of a neutral country.

According to the Rating Group, over the past year, attitudes toward Turkey and the United Kingdom have significantly improved, and attitudes toward Belarus have deteriorated.

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