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    Ukrainians' Desire to Join NATO, EU Shrinks - Poll

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    A recent sociological poll revealed that Ukrainians are gradually losing optimism about joining NATO and the European Union.

    Forty percent of Ukrainians would vote in favor of joining NATO if a referendum on accession to the bloc were held now, a poll by Ukrainian Sociological group "Rating" showed.

    In a study conducted between June 3-13, sociologists revealed that the number of Ukrainians, who want their country to join NATO, had shrunk to 40 percent from its peak of 51 percent in November 2014.

    Concurrently, anti-NATO sentiment gained momentum, rising from 25 to 32 percent. Eleven percent would abstain from casting their votes at the referendum, whereas 17 percent are undecided.

    Sociologists note that the support of joining NATO has a regional distribution: 68 percent of Ukrainians in the West would back the idea, 44 percent would say "yes" in the center, whereas 46 percent oppose the idea in the South, and 52 percent reject the idea in the East.

    At the same time, the sociological research found out that if Ukraine had to join an international economic bloc, 51 percent would vote aye for the European Union (the figure was 59 percent in September 2014), 16 percent would approve integration with the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and 34 percent would either support another option or are undecided.

    Optimism about joining the EU is high in the West (80 percent), middle in the center and south (nearly 60 and 40 percent respectively), and low in the East (21 percent).

    Support for joining NATO and the EU fades from the West to the East of the country, the study concluded.

    In late 2014, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denounced the country's non-aligned status and promised to conduct a referendum on joining NATO within six years.

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    Tags:
    NATO, poll, referendum, Customs Union, European Union, Sociological group Rating, Ukraine
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