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IRI Ukraine Poll Shows Support for EU/NATO Membership, Concerns over Economy and Vaccines for COVID-19

December 17, 2021

Kyiv, Ukraine – The latest public opinion survey conducted by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR) in Ukraine shows majority support for accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). The survey also shows that many Ukrainians are concerned about personal economic issues as well as the COVID-19 vaccine.

“In the face of Russian military aggression, Ukrainians remain supportive of both NATO and EU membership,” said Stephen Nix, Director of IRI’s Eurasia Division. “The accession into a strong community of democracies will strengthen economic opportunities and bolster defenses against foreign threats.”

When asked which international economic union they would join if Ukraine could only join one, 58% of Ukrainians chose the EU. Only 21% support joining a Customs Union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. If a referendum were held on joining NATO, 54% would vote to join the military alliance.

Regarding individual concerns, Ukrainians are focused on economic issues affecting their pocketbooks. When asked to select the three issues most important to them, 49% said “inflation” and 45% said “increasing costs for heating, gas supplies, and electricity” as the top two.

“An increase in the cost of goods along with higher heating bills are being felt in households across Ukraine,” said Nix. “The economy will not be able to reach its full potential until inflation subsides and the price of energy comes down.”

The poll also found that a substantial minority are worried about the effects of the COVID-19 vaccine.Thirty-eight percent of Ukrainians say they are “somewhat” or “very” unwilling to take the vaccine. Of those who are unwilling, 31% are afraid of the side effects and 24% do not believe the vaccine is effective.

“Hesitancy to get the vaccine remains a problem in Ukraine,” said Nix. “More engagement with the public needs to be done to convince people that getting the vaccine is safe and effective.”

Methodology

The survey was conducted by the Sociological Group “Rating” on behalf of the Center for Insights in Survey Research (CISR) of the International Republican Institute throughout Ukraine (except for the in the occupied territories of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts) between November 6 and November 15, 2021, through face-to-face interviews at the respondents’ homes. The total sample consists of 2,400 residents of Ukraine, aged 18 and older. The results were weighted according to region, age, and gender distribution from the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine as of January 1, 2019. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level does not exceed 2 percent. The response rate was 53%. The survey was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

View the full report here.