NATO publics wary of engagement in case of Russian attack
PR dla Zagranicy
Most Germans, French and Italians would be against sending their own countries’ troops to Poland in the event of a Russian attack, a new survey from Pew pollsters reveals.
A woman passes Ukrainian servicemen as they ride on an armored military vehicle not far of Artemivsk city of Donetsk area, Ukraine, 09 June 2015. Photo: PAP/EPA/ALEX ROM
Despite Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which requires NATO members to defend an ally with armed force if necessary, a median of 42 percent of eight NATO countries’ publics were opposed to using military force if Russia got into a serious military conflict with a neighbouring nation that is a NATO ally, while 48 percent said their country should.
Support for the measure was particularly low among Germans (19 percent), Italians (22 percent) and Spanish (25 percent). And, with the exception of Poles, three-in-ten want to increase sanctions on Russia.
Americans topped the poll of respondents from eight countries asked by the Pew Research Center. Some 56 percent of Americans asked said they would support armed intervention if Russia attacked Poland or any other NATO member. Canadians were second in the poll, with 53 percent support.
A majority of public opinion in NATO countries was in support of assisting Ukraine economically, and of bringing the country into the alliance, according to the research.
A median of 39 percent of those asked in NATO member states said Russia was the main culprit in the conflict in Ukraine. The pro-Russian separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk (18 percent) were a distant second.
Poles are more concerned about Russia’s role in the current crisis than other NATO publics. Seven-in-ten Poles said Russia is a major threat to neighbouring countries, compared with a median of 49 percent of the other seven allied countries surveyed.
Nearly half of Poles (49 percent) would increase economic sanctions on Moscow. Only a median of 25 percent in the other countries say the same.
NATO publics generally hold Russia in very low esteem, with less than a third in any country giving it a positive review, including 15 percent in Poland and 18 percent in the UK. (jh/jb)