Translated by Ollie Richardson
The head of the Odessa regional administration from the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko, the People’s Deputy Aleksey Goncharenko stated that at the present moment Ukraine needs strong allies to defend the country.
The Odessa Deputy and former “regional” made such a statement on the air of the “112” TV channel, commenting on the words of the host that, according to the Razumkov Center, 72% of citizens of Ukraine support accession to NATO. Goncharenko called the provided figure objective, adding that he also supports the membership of Ukraine in the North Atlantic Alliance.
“All of us saw after the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine that to be alone in this modern world, which isn’t as safe as we once thought, is dangerous and wrong,” noted Goncharenko.
In his opinion, NATO can protect Ukrainians from “nuclear Russia, with unpredictable, dangerous Putin”. Goncharenko emphasized that the fate of Ukraine can’t be decided “contrary to public opinion”.
As a reminder, most of the residents of Odessa don’t support the entry of Ukraine into the European Union and NATO. This is shown in the results of the research conducted from May 5th to May 16th of this year using 2,000 respondents and presented on June 1st by the Center for Social and Marketing Research (SOCIS). So, membership in NATO is supported by only 20% of the inhabitants of Odessa (53% are against, and another 12% wouldn’t take part in the corresponding referendum). A generally similar pattern developed concerning a referendum on the entry into the European Union: 46% — against, 28% — for, about 25% found it difficult to answer or wouldn’t take part at all. In addition, the question what to do with the war on Donbass was also asked to respondents. Most (60%) of inhabitants of Odessa considered that the territories uncontrolled by Kiev need to return to the structure of Ukraine in a diplomatic way. 7% support an open military offensive to return these territories, and 10% consider that Ukraine should completely abandon Donbass (about 5% of respondents hold the opinion that the conflict needs to be frozen temporarily).
Also, in 2014 the number of Ukrainians inclined to consider the North Atlantic Alliance as defence was 36% — this indicator was the highest since 2009 (by 2016 the level of mistrust of NATO reached the highest indicators). This was stated in the research of the American institute of public opinion Gallup. Thus, according to the research, 29% of respondents consider NATO as a potential defender, and 26% consider the alliance as neither this or that.
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