Poll: Czech support for NATO highest since 1994

The war in Ukraine had led to a significant shift in Czech opinion regarding NATO, the EU, and Russia.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 20.04.2022 08:51:00 (updated on 20.04.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, April 19 (ČTK) – Some 78 percent of the Czech Republic's population, the largest proportion since 1994, now agree with its NATO membership, according to a recent poll conducted by polling institute STEM. Support for the EU has increased, too.

Due to the war in Ukraine, one-third of Czechs see the security situation in Central Europe as bad and just under one-tenth believe that there is no threat of a new conflict.

Three-quarters of the Czech population believe that Russia is clearly to blame for the war in Ukraine. A mere 4 percent have a positive attitude toward it.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to unprecedented feelings of a greater threat to Czech society, the pollsters said.

"Only 9 percent believe that there is no military danger in the region, which is the lowest proportion measured since 1994, and a 22 percent decrease compared to August 2021," they added.

By contrast, 34 percent evaluate the security situation as bad, holding the view that the start of a military conflict in the region is just a matter of time.

The largest portion, 58 percent, believe the situation is basically good, but believes there is a threat of a military conflict.

Support for NATO has increased to 78 percent from 68 percent in September 2020. The proportion of those who definitely support the membership soared from roughly 30 percent in recent years to the current 47 percent. Similarly, the support to staying in the EU rose from 46 to 54 percent.

The idea of building collective EU armed forces is backed by 85 percent. Besides, 84 percent of Czechs are for collective EU purchase of oil and gas.

The collective purchase of arms and military equipment in the EU is approved of by 71 percent of Czechs.

The preparedness of the Czech Republic for its forthcoming EU presidency is seen positively by 41 percent of Czechs, up from 32 percent in January.

In connection with the war, 57 percent of the population have pro-Western attitudes. Some 37 percent support at least the transfer of NATO troops to the borders of Ukraine and Russia, while 20 percent do not support or reject the activity of NATO troops.

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One-third of Czechs have no trust in or mistrust the Russian narrative of the situation. Some 6 percent trust the Russian interpretation that this is a provocation on the part of NATO and that Ukraine is an artificially created state. Some 4 percent of Czechs wish for a road to the East for the future.

In the assessment of states on the 1-5 grading scale, with one for the best and five for the worst as in Czech schools, Russia got an average mark of four, faring the worst since 1994.

The evaluation of Russian President Vladimir Putin also worsened. In March, 8 percent of Czech society saw him positively as against 27 percent last May.

In contrast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received a positive rating from 62 percent of Czechs. From foreign statesmen, only Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová is more popular, according to the STEM poll.

The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,171 Czechs over 18 between March 24 and April 6.

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