MOSCOW, December 19 (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — The Respect Member of the British Parliament George Galloway told the Sputnik news agency Friday that Europeans oppose allocation of additional financial aid to Ukraine, as an ICM Research poll suggests, due to a desire to address the 28-member bloc’s own financial problems.
“Ukraine’s problems are of its own making, and in any case, financial assistance we are giving to other countries is actually the money we are borrowing from others in order to give it away,” Galloway said, explaining that as Europe is running a deficit and its people are going through an “austerity winter,” borrowing money for political reasons to give away to countries like Ukraine is absurd.
Sputnik asked Galloway to comment on the findings of a recent poll conducted by ICM Research exclusively for the Sputnik news agency. The poll revealed that 55 percent of the European Union citizens say that the bloc should not provide additional financial aid to Ukraine. France and Britain have the highest percentage of those opposing allocation of more funds to Ukraine – 66 percent and 59 percent respectively.
“It is a question of geographical proximity,” Galloway told Sputnik. “It is a European country [Ukraine] which has economic problems, which we have ourselves, but we are not talking about the Ebola crisis in Central Africa, we are talking about a European country [Ukraine] that has embarked on [a] coup d’état, a civil war against a section of its own population and people here rightly revile [them] [for] the fact that [it] will be announced to give money to them.”
According to the poll findings, 46 percent of those Europeans polled want the European Union to act more independently from the United States, as 27 percent believe that the bloc has implemented sanctions against Russia under the US influence.
“The EU doesn’t have the political weight that its economy and its collective culture would give it, it is politically weak and disunited,” Galloway said, commenting on the findings. “One of the things that the EU needs to do is to acquire political confidence commensurate with [its] political weight and its cultural importance.”
In Germany, the percentage is higher — 62 percent of the poll respondents want the European Union to be more independent from Washington, while in France and the United Kingdom the figure is 38 and 39 percent respectively.
“Germany has far bigger economic relations than Britain does, and Britain is a far more imperialist country stuck in Cold War mentality than Germany is. And the German leadership has at least some semblance of independence, of sovereignty,” Galloway said adding that the British government is “just an adjunct of the White House.”
He also noted that the 40 percent result of those Europeans polled who want to keep the anti-Russian sanctions in place is due to “the propaganda offensive that has been mounted against Russia.” But a substantial number of respondents – 29 percent – want sanctions to be lifted as they “[realize] that these sanctions are wrong in themselves and damaging to the European economy.”
ICM Research polled over 3,000 people in Germany, the United Kingdom, and France. Telephone interviews with adults in the three countries were conducted in December 2014.