Study Reveals European Skepticism On Ukrainian War Victory

A new survey from the European Council on Foreign Relations reveals a stark contrast between Ukrainian optimism and European skepticism regarding Ukraine’s chances of defeating Russia. This study, released ahead of the NATO summit in Washington, D.C., underscores the complex attitudes within Europe towards the ongoing conflict.

While a significant majority of Ukrainians (58%) are confident of a victory over Russia, the sentiment in Europe is far less optimistic. Among the 14 EU countries surveyed, only Estonia shows a notable belief in Ukraine’s military success, with 38% of its population holding this view. In contrast, many Europeans, particularly in Greece where 31% foresee a Russian victory, expect the war to end through negotiations.

The Ukrainian confidence is juxtaposed with European caution. In Ukraine, a mere 1% believe Russia will win, and 30% see a negotiated settlement as the likely outcome. This optimism is not mirrored in Europe, where support for various forms of aid to Ukraine is mixed.

Support for direct NATO troop deployment to Ukraine is minimal across Europe, with public approval ranging from just 4% to 22%. However, there is greater support for increased defense spending in countries like Poland, Estonia, Sweden and Germany. Other European nations are more inclined to assist Ukraine through technical support and the supply of arms.

In Bulgaria, Greece, and Italy, there is significant opposition to increasing the supply of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine. European nations are also divided on the issue of Ukraine joining the EU. Countries such as Portugal, Estonia, Sweden, Spain and Poland are in favor, whereas Germany, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and France exhibit skepticism.

Among Ukrainians, 64% view EU membership as equally important as joining NATO, highlighting its perceived importance for the country’s future. As NATO leaders prepare to meet, these varied perspectives present challenges for developing a unified approach to supporting Ukraine amidst the ongoing war.

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