Italy, Greece and Ukraine
Italy and Greece, support for the Ukraine war, the least enthusiastic in Europe
YouGov-Cambridge has published the results of a survey of international opinion regarding the Ukraine war.
Looking at the table of results (all on one page, magnifying glass required) Greece, Italy and Spain to a lesser extent give more answers favourable to Russia, and Britain the least. Britain is consistently more anti-Russian and pro NATO than the rest of the world including the US.
Here is the list of questions asked:
“There are different views on the circumstances that led to the war in Ukraine… Thinking about this subject, do you think the following statement is true or false?
1. Before the war started, ethnic Russians living in Ukraine were being subjected to mass murder – or “genocide” – by Ukrainians
2. Before the war started, the Ukrainian Government had fallen under the influence of militant extremists who support the ideology of Nazism and Adolf Hitler
3. Before the war started, Western countries were seeking to establish a military infrastructure in Ukraine in order to bully and threaten Russia
4. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, ordered Russian troops to enter Ukraine because he does not consider Ukraine a “real country” and wants to end its independence
5. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, ordered Russian troops to enter Ukraine as part of a larger ambition to build a new Russian empire in the former lands of the Soviet Union
6. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, ordered Russian troops to enter Ukraine partly because he wants to boost the international status of Russia as a great power in the world
Ukraine_Blame. Generally speaking, who do you think is more to blame, if at all, for the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine War – Russia or Western countries?
_If Russia Wins. If Russia achieves victory by achieving its current, stated aims in Ukraine, do you think this will make the world more dangerous, or more safe, or will it make no real difference either way? “
As an example, to the question Who is more to blame? 78% of Britons asked in the survey said Russia, against 37% of Greeks, 53% of Italians and 66% of Spaniards.
The statement ‘Before the war started, Western countries were seeking to establish a military infrastructure in Ukraine in order to bully and threaten Russia’ was judged to be true by 58% for Greece, 35% Italy, 27% Spain, and 16% GB.
This casts a new light on the election of Giorgia Meloni as the new prime minister of Italy, the only one of the right wing coalition who is consistently hostile to Russia, as explained by France 24 19/10/22:
“Meloni, Italy’s likeliest next leader, was said to be shocked and livid at the latest gaffe by the man long known as the Cavaliere (the Knight), slipping out of parliament by a backdoor on Tuesday evening to avoid the press. As Giannini said, Berlusconi’s latest bluster “shattered the already fragile pro-NATO and Europhile equilibriums that the leader of Brothers of Italy was struggling to guarantee”.
Breaking a daylong silence, Meloni issued a statement late on Wednesday insisting that she would lead a government with a clear foreign policy.
“Italy, with its head high, is part of Europe and the Atlantic alliance,” she said. “Whoever doesn’t agree with this cornerstone cannot be part of the government, at the cost of not having a government.”
Meloni’s own far-right credentials and long history of eurosceptic tirades have raised eyebrows in some European capitals. But she has staunchly supported NATO and Ukraine in the war, offering strong backing to EU sanctions on Russia.
Her allies’ past proximity with the Kremlin, however, is cause for concern among Western leaders.
Berlusconi has a long, friendly history with Putin, whom he entertained at his Sardinian villa almost two decades ago. He even visited Crimea with the Russian leader in 2014 after Moscow annexed the peninsula from Ukraine. That same year, Meloni’s other main ally, Matteo Salvini of the anti-immigrant League party, was pictured in Moscow sporting a Putin T-shirt – a stunt he repeated at the European Parliament months later.
Salvini’s party colleague Lorenzo Fontana, who was elected Speaker of the lower house of parliament last week, caused further embarrassment for Meloni on Tuesday by describing EU sanctions against Russia as a “boomerang” for the Italian economy – prompting a swift rebuke from the European Commission in Brussels, which also noted that the sanctions ban imports “as well as gifts” of Russian vodka.”