23:07 GMT +324 March 2017
    Netherlands' soldiers attend a ceremony to welcome the German battalion being deployed to Lithuania as part of NATO deterrence measures against Russia in Rukla, Lithuania February 7, 2017

    Gallup Finds Two Thirds of Russians, Plurality of Ukrainians See NATO as Threat

    © REUTERS/ Ints Kalnins
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    67% of Russians consider the North Atlantic alliance a 'threat,' with only 3% seeing the alliance as 'protection,' according to recent polling by the US-based polling and research firm Gallup. Over 54% of Belarusians and 35% of Ukrainians also see the alliance as a threat, the results showed.

    Gallup's polling, compiling the attitudes toward NATO in over two dozen Eastern European countries, were based on telephone interviews conducted throughout 2016 of about 1,000 adults in each country, with the exception of Russia, where 2,000 adults were interviewed.

    The polling found that together with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, where a majority or plurality saw NATO as a threat, people in the post-Soviet republics of Moldova, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan were also more likely to see the alliance as a threat than as protection. 

    Ukraine's results are particularly interesting, given President Petro Poroshenko's musings last week that the country might hold a referendum on membership in the alliance sometime in the near future. The Ukrainian president claimed that according to his calculations, 54% of his fellow countrymen and women supported joining NATO. Gallup's figures show a very different trend. 

    According to the poll, only 29% of Ukrainians see the alliance as protection, with 35% considering it a threat and 26% choosing 'neither.' Gallup suggested that the ongoing civil war in eastern Ukraine, poor economic prospects and rising crime rates may be responsible for the decline in support for the alliance, which reached its peak in 2014 at 36%.

    Excluding the Baltic states, the only other former Soviet republics where a majority or plurality supported the alliance were Azerbaijan and Georgia, where 21% and 37% see NATO as 'protection,' and 16% and 8% see it as a threat.

    Outside the former USSR, a majority of Serbs (64%) and a plurality of Montenegrins (29%) also said that they see the alliance as more of a threat than protection, with only 6% of Serbs and 20% of Montenegrins feeling protected by NATO. Serbia's figures are understandable, given the North Atlantic Alliance's campaign of bombing against the country in 1999, which included the use of depleted uranium munitions.

    The Montenegro results are also fascinating, given Podgorica's current reluctance to hold a referendum on membership in the alliance. The Balkan state was officially invited to join the alliance in 2015. In May 2016, the alliance signed a protocol on Podgorica's accession, and the alliance must now ratify the accession. Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States have yet to do so.

    Montenegrin officials have been hesitant over the idea of a NATO membership referendum, presumably out of fear that the 'support membership' side will lose. 

    On the other side, the Serbian breakaway region of Kosovo showed the highest support for NATO, with 90% viewing it as protection against just 3% which see it as a threat. A majority of Albanians (70%), Poles 62%, Lithuanians (57%), Estonians (52%) Croatians (52%) and Romanians (50%) also see the alliance as protection, according to the polling, with a plurality of respondents from eight other Eastern European countries also finding the alliance to be protection more than it is a threat.


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    polling, poll, NATO, Gallup, Ukraine, Russia, Eastern Europe
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    • avatar
      While I agree that NATO is a threat, Gallup has no credibility, none.
    • avatar
      NATO is about war. It was designed to stop war but that requires it attending to war.
      It was created out of an abundance of fear and as such is reactive to not proactive.
    • avatar
      We are millions of Western Europeans who think NATO is a threat to us all, we have never been consulted, in my own country Sarkozy made us join without our consent, and denied us the right to say no to this dictatorial EU, De Gaulle must be turning in his grave.
    • Dar...
      This article opens with:-

      "67% of Russians consider the North Atlantic alliance a 'threat,' with only 3% seeing the alliance as 'protection,' "

      You could substitute "Russians" with "EU Citizens" and the statement would still hold true.
    • avatar
      if you are going to spend the time doing such a poll, make sure that you at least attempt to get some credible figures as respondent numbers. The exercise, such as it is, is a waste of time and only to be used as a filler with the msm.
    • avatar
      kookain reply toMclupo(Show commentHide comment)
      As a German I was really frustrated that sarkozy joined NATO in 2009. I guess it was due to the bad influence of merkel with her fundamental Russophobie and will to start the next war on European soil.
    • avatar
      kookain reply toDar...(Show commentHide comment)
      Not in Western part of Gemany. After 70 years of brainwashing most of West Germans are still believing that only the US brings peace and prosperity to the World.
    • avatar
      Mclupoin reply tokooka(Show commentHide comment)
      That coud have had some influence, but Sarko has been propulsed to power as a counter move against Chirac and his foreign affairs minister de Villepein, who opposed the Zio-NeoCons' war on Irak, Aipac and other zionist lobbies have heavily sponsored him, and the media did the rest.
      Talking about Russia, I never understood the friendlyness of Putin towards Israel, and especially Netanyahu, considering their hostile involvement in Georgia, ukrain, and Syria, it is still a mystery to me.
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