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Survey: 73.4% of Ukrainians support the idea of referendum on Ukraine’s entry into NATO
Sept 9-17 2006 the Center for Sociological Studies “Sofia” asked 2,010 people all over Ukraine, in the Crimea, Kiev and Sevastopol (a total of 128 settlements) about their attitude to the prospect of Ukraine’s entry into NATO.
They in the center have told REGNUM that 47.1% say that Ukraine should integrate with Russia and the CIS, 24.2% that Ukraine should rely on its own resources and should strengthen its independence and 20.5% that Ukraine should integrate into the West.
The people have turned out to have a differentiated notion of the “West”: when saying “partner for cooperation” most of them mean Europe (the EU), and much fewer the US. This circumstance explains the difference in their attitudes to the prospects of European and North-Atlantic integration.
55.8% support EU integration, while over 2/3 (68.8%) say that Ukraine should integrate into the Common Economic Space together with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
30.8% say that Ukraine should be neutral and should stay outside any military-political blocs. 12.2% support the idea of a new system of European security covering Russia and Ukraine but not the US.
10.3% say that Ukraine “must join NATO without fail and delay,” while 44.8% say that “the country must not do it under any circumstances.” The rest say each in different wording that this step is not timely.
73.4% support the idea of the conduct of a nationwide referendum on Ukraine’s entry into NATO.
If the referendum is held, 21.5% will vote for NATO, 60.2% against. Western Ukrainians are better disposed towards NATO, while people in Donbass and Crimea are against NATO membership.
46.1% give more or less negative assessment of NATO peacekeeping activities in the world and Europe, 22.1% approve of them.
56.0% believe that the most active advocate of the idea of Ukraine’s entry into NATO among the political parties is the National Union Our Ukraine. 37.6% mention Batkivschina. 49.8% say that the most active opponent of the idea is the Party of Regions, 48.5% CPU and 40.1% PSPU.
66.1% say that the key advocate of the idea of Ukraine’s entry into NATO among Ukrainian politicians is Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. 41.4% mention the leader of the BYT parliamentary group Yulia Timoshenko. The key opponents are Viktor Yanukovich (51.7%), Pyotr Simonenko (48.5%) and Natalia Vitrenko (47.6%).
55.5% say that Viktor Yushchenko is potentially interested in Ukraine’s entry into NATO. Yushchenko is even more interested than the US who got 44.0% and government officials (17.7%). According to the survey, the US is 4 times more interested in Ukraine’s entry into NATO than Western Europe is.