‘Justice’ for Ukraine overshadowed by cost of living concerns, polling shows
-Survey across 10 European countries and UK shows respondents favouring an end to the conflict rather than holding Russia accountable


(Smoke rises after shelling in Donetsk on Monday amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.)


Europe’s unity over the war in Ukraine is at risk as public attention increasingly shifts from the battlefield to cost of living concerns, polling across 10 European countries suggests, with the divide deepening between voters who want a swift end to the conflict and those who want Russia punished.


The survey in nine EU member states – Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden – plus the UK found support for Ukraine remained high, but that preoccupations have shifted to the conflict’s wider impacts.


“Europeans had surprised Putin – and themselves – by their unity so far, but the big stresses are coming now,” said Mark Leonard, a co-author of a report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) on changing attitudes to Russia’s invasion.


Governments’ ability to retain public support for potentially harmful policies would be crucial, Leonard said, warning that the gulf between the “peace” and “justice” camps could be “as damaging as that between creditors and debtors during the euro crisis”.


The survey found that despite strong support across Europe for Ukraine’s bid to join the EU and the west’s policy of severing ties with Moscow, many voters in Europe want the war to end as soon as possible – even if that means Ukraine losing territory.


That view often did not reflect the position of national governments, the authors said, cautioning EU leaders against “maximalist positions” over the war and suggesting they remain tough on Russia but cautious about the dangers of escalation.

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“In the early stages of the war, countries in central and eastern Europe felt vindicated in their hawkishness towards Russia,” write Leonard and his co-author Ivan Krastev. “But in the next phase countries such as Poland could find themselves marginalised if the ‘peace’ camp broadens its appeal among the other member states.”

“在戰爭的早期階段,中歐和東歐的國家認為他們對俄羅斯的鷹派立場是正確的,”倫納德和他的合著者伊萬·克拉斯特夫寫道?!暗诮酉聛淼碾A段,如果‘和平’陣營在其他成員國中擴大吸引力,波蘭等國可能會發現自己被邊緣化?!?br>原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.mmg13444.com 轉載請注明出處

The polling, carried out between 28 April and 11 May, found near-universal support for Ukraine, with 73% of respondents across the 10 countries blaming Russia for the war.


More than 80% in Poland, Sweden, the UK (83%) and Finland (90%) said they held Russia responsible, along with strong majorities in Italy (56%), France (62%) and Germany (66%), while majorities or pluralities also saw Russia as the main block to peace.

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There was strong support for cutting lixs with Russia. A majority across the 10 countries felt governments should sever economic and cultural relations with Moscow, with most – rising to 71% in Poland – also favouring an end to diplomatic ties.


Similarly, 58% across the 10 countries – rising to 77% in Finland – wanted the EU to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, even at the expense of the bloc’s climate goals, suggesting public support for a new round of EU sanctions, including on oil.

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But ECFR’s polling showed a clear divide between Europeans who want peace as soon as possible (35% across the 10 countries), and those who want justice – defined as restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and holding Russia to account (22%).


A third “swing” group, who share the anti-Russian feelings of justice supporters but also the peace camp’s fears of escalation, accounted for about 20% of voters, the report found – with major distribution differences between countries.


The peace camp – whose backers also tended to believe Ukraine would be worse off than Russia at the end of the conflict – was most strongly supported in Italy (52%), the polling found, while Poland had the biggest justice camp, at 41%.

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Crucially, views on the EU’s policy response to the invasion varied depending on which camp respondents were in, with justice voters backing the severance of economic, diplomatic and cultural ties, and peace voters supporting only the first of these.

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Asked what worried them most about the war, respondents in Germany, Italy and France were most concerned about the cost of living and energy prices, while respondents in Sweden, the UK and Poland were most concerned about the threat of nuclear war.


As the conflict drags on and costs grow, governments will increasingly be forced to “balance the pursuit of European unity with opinions that diverge both within and among member states”, the authors write, pointing to a “growing gap between the positions of many governments and the public mood in their respective countries”.