Vast majority of Europeans see Russia as an adversary, poll finds

Vast majority of Europeans see Russia as an adversary, poll finds
Опубликовано: Thursday, 16 March 2023 10:51

On average, two-thirds of the people polled across 10 European countries consider Russia as a rival to their own country.


Russia is widely seen as an “adversary” or “rival” by Europeans, while the EU is perceived as stronger than before the start of Moscow’s war on Ukraine, according to a report by the European Council on Foreign Relations published Thursday.

On average, two-thirds of those polled across 10 European countries consider Russia as a rival to their own country, while 40 percent see it as weaker than before it invaded Ukraine.

The “adversary” stance was strongest in Denmark (82 percent), followed by Estonia and Poland (both 79 percent), Britain (77 percent), Germany (69 percent), Spain (65 percent), France (59 percent), Portugal (57 percent) and Italy (54 percent). In Romania, 44 percent said Russia is an adversary or rival.

The EU, meanwhile, is seen as stronger than a year ago everywhere — including in the post-Brexit U.K. — except Italy.

Political scientists Ivan Krastev and Mark Leonard, who wrote the report, say the results show that the war in Ukraine has created three blocs in Europe.

First, the “northern and eastern hawks” (Estonia, Poland, Denmark and Great Britain), where “most people strongly support Kyiv’s objectives in the war.”

Second, the “ambiguous west,” made up of France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, where “opinions are divided on how the war should end.”

And lastly, the “weak southern links,” Italy and Romania, who want to see the war end quickly even if it involves territorial losses for Ukraine.

The report is based on YouGov and Datapraxis data, which polled 14,439 people in the listed countries in January.

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