A new survey of the European public’s attitude about the war in Ukraine conducted by the Századvég Foundation’s Project Europe shows that the policies of most European political leaders are ignoring the desires of their own populations as they escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
Political leaders in the United States and European Union have been working incessantly to escalate the conflict in Ukraine, causing increased bloodshed and showing a complete disregard for the people living in the region. Most recently, leaders in Washington and the EU have announced plans to supply Ukraine with Leopard and Abrams tanks. At the same time, the ever-increasing sanctions regime imposed on Russia has placed excessive burdens on their own populations instead of affecting Moscow.
Despite this, leaders in Brussels and Washington are doing nothing to bring the parties to the negotiating table. If political leaders in on both sides of the Atlantic were interested in democracy, they would pay attention to the desires of their own constituents. While claiming the war is about “democracy” in Ukraine, they ignore democracy in their own countries. Based on the results of the new Project Europe survey, it is clear that Europeans expect their leaders to work toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Ukraine as soon as possible and to bring a quick end to the war.
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Since the outbreak of the conflict, the whole focus of the West has been on punishing Russia instead of facilitating peace talks to end the conflict, leading to the needless deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, destruction on a massive scale, and millions of refugees. The impact of the war is a cause of great concern for most Europeans. 68 percent of those surveyed across the European Union are worried about the war, while more than a third are very worried. The differences in the survey results among the Member States are influenced by their historical background and trade relations with Russia.
Overall, 82 percent of respondents across the European Union agree that Russia and Ukraine should be compelled into peace talks to end the war. In the Balkans and Central Europe, the population is overwhelmingly in favor of peace, while their governments, compelled by Brussels and Washington, continue to escalate the conflict by providing arms to Kiev even against their own national interests. Only Hungary’s government, where 88% of the population favors a peaceful settlement, has taken a stand against sanctions and urged the two sides to reach a peaceful settlement.
The survey revealed that only one tenth of Europeans believe that sanctions primarily harm Russia. This is again in stark contrast to the policies pursued by their political leaders. On average, 53% of Europeans believe sanctions harmed both the European and Russian economies, while 37% believe they primarily harm the EU.
Two-thirds of the adult population in EU Member States agree that the damage caused by the ban on Russian oil and gas outweighs the benefits of the measure in Europe, with Poland the only country, by a slim margin, that thinks the sanctions are beneficial.
Project Europe surveyed a total of 38,000 randomly selected adults using the CATI method between 13 October and 7 December.
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