: Over 40% of Ukrainians believe NATO membership ensures country's security - poll

16:51 Jul. 6, 2016

Over 40% of Ukrainians believe NATO membership ensures country's security - poll

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (L) delivers a speech during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (R) after signing bilateral agreements in Kyiv on September 22, 2015 (Getty Images)

For the last two years a number of Alliance supporters in Ukraine significantly increased

43% of Ukrainians consider the NATO membership as a main guarantee for Ukraine's national security.

These are the results of the research conducted by the Democratic Initiatives Fund and the Razumkov Centre.

Read also Poll: Almost 44% of Ukrainians support idea of NATO membership

Compared to 2012, the portion of those who think this way is better than any other security guarantee, more than tripled.

"What happened in 2014 was the best motivation to make people change their attitude towards NATO - in May 2014 the public started becoming more NATO-oriented, regarding the Alliance as a guarantee for Ukraine's national security", says Maria Zolkina, a Democratic Initiatives Fund political analyst.

"In the quiet year of 2012, only 13% of Ukrainians treated the NATO membership as a security guarantee, however, in May 2014 their number increased up to 33%. In May 2016, the number of NATO membership supporters in Ukraine totals to 43% ", Maria Zolkina informed.

Read also Ukraine should abandon dreams of NATO membership - former Polish leader

The NATO issue "moved into focus because the security problem became far too obvious with such a neighbour as Russia", according to Iryna Bekeshkina, Democratic initiatives Fund Director.

The study showed that in recent years the regional NATO support map dramatically changed. Thus, in 2012, 37% of the population in Western Ukraine supported the NATO membership, while 34% preferred a non-aligned status. 1% of Ukrainians in Donbas was in favour of the NATO membership, whereas 14% of residents in central Ukraine supported the idea.

In 2014 Ukrainians started expressing more adherence to NATO. In May 2016, 46% of people in central Ukraine (in April 2012 - 14%), and 19% of respondents in the Sothern regions (in April 2012 – 7%) regarded the NATO membership as a guarantee for security.

Read also Ukraine to meet with 'Normandy' partners at NATO summit in Poland

Sociologists emphasize that people living in eastern Ukraine demonstrated the greatest switch towards the alliance with NATO. In 2012, 2% of Ukrainians in eastern regions were in favour of the NATO membership, while in May 2016 their number grew up to 29% (in Donbas - 1%, in 2012, and 24%, in May 2016, respectively)

The survey was conducted from 11 to 16 May 2016.

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