Majorities in neutral EU states support arming Ukraine

Vast majorities in Malta, Ireland, Sweden and Finland support EU financing of military equipment to Ukraine

A majority of citizens in all five neutral member states in the European Union, including Malta, support the EU’s decision to finance and deliver weapons to Ukraine to defend itself from Russian aggression.

A Eurobarometer survey shows that while 80% of respondents in Malta support the decision to finance and deliver weapons to Ukraine, only 14% are opposed. Support for arming Ukraine is 10 points higher in Malta than in the entire EU.

Among the five neutral members of the EU, support for arming Ukraine is highest in Sweden (92%), which together with Finland (90%), has now applied to join NATO.

But support is also high in Ireland where 90% support arming Ukraine. Among the neutral EU member states support for arming Ukraine is lowest in Austria (54%).

The majority of respondents in all five neutral EU countries favour increased defence cooperation in the EU.

Unsurprisingly, in the EU as a whole support for arming Ukraine is highest in Poland (93%), which not only borders the Ukraine but was itself historically annexed by Tsarist Russia and later the Soviet Union. Support is lowest in countries which share a cultural and religious affinity with Russia, mainly Bulgaria (30%), Cyprus (45%) and Slovakia (42%).

Support for arming Ukraine is higher in Malta than in a number of NATO members like France (68%), Germany (66%), Italy (61%) and Hungary (60%).

The survey also shows strong majorities in Malta for banning Russia Today and Sputnik broadcasts (72%), sanctions against Russian companies, government members and individuals (83%) and notably welcoming refugees from the war zone (96%).

Respondents were also asked to state their major two worries about the ensuing war. Understandably the results show that the greatest worry of the Maltese is a nuclear war (47%) followed by fears of the conflict spreading to other countries (30%), the risk of an economic crisis (30%) and inflation (26%).

The survey shows that 71% of Maltese are satisfied with their government’s response to the Russian invasion. 73% of Maltese are also satisfied with the EU’s response, as are 59% of citizens in all EU member states. The most dissatisfied with the EU response are the Estonians (42%), the Greeks (44%), the Slovaks (44%) and the Cypriots (48%). While in Estonia the public largely supports measures against Russia, in Greece, Slovakia and Cyprus low support for the EU’s response reflects a pro Russian sentiment, confirmed by larger opposition against arming Ukraine.