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6 August 2015

Support for joining NATO considerably increases in Ukraine –poll

Almost two thirds of the Ukrainian public is ready to vote in favor of joining NATO, and more than half of Ukrainians support joining the EU, according to a poll conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation in cooperation with the sociological service of the Razumkov Center.

"Right now we're seeing serious changes: if a referendum was held now, it would be obviously won [by the pro-NATO side]," Director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation Iryna Bekeshkina said at a press conference on Monday.

According to the poll, if a referendum on Ukrainian membership of NATO was held on Sunday, a total of 63.9% of respondents would vote in favor, 28.5% would vote against, and 7.6% were undecided.

Bekeshkina said that in June 2010 only 24.6% would have voted for joining NATO, 67.7% - against, and in June 2014 – 45.4% would have voted in favor and 36.4% - against.

"These are very important changes" the expert said, adding that the issues still divides Ukraine.

In particular, she noted that there were much less support for NATO in Donbas compared to other regions, even though the number of those opposed to joining NATO is now about 60% compared to 95% five years ago.

According to the poll, 51.2% of the respondents considered joining the EU a priority, 17.4% - support joining the Customs Union with Russia. Belarus and Kazakhstan, 31.3% wee undecided.

The poll was conducted through July 22-27, and 2,011 respondents over 18 years old were surveyed in various regions of Ukraine except for Crimea and areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions uncontrolled by the Ukrainian government. The poll' s margin of error was 2.3%.