The unifying European drive to support Ukraine against Russia and punish Moscow for attacking its neighbor is at risk of losing momentum, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) warned on Wednesday.
An increasing number of people want to see the conflict end, even if it means getting Kiev to make concessions, the think-tank said based on an opinion poll it conducted. The survey suggested that many people, who want to be tough on Russia, are also concerned with the cost that European nations will have to pay to pursue what the authors called “justice” for Ukraine.
The poll was conducted in mid-May across 10 European nations. Researchers placed respondents into four groups based on what outcome they wanted from the Ukrainian crisis.
Members of the “peace” camp want it to be over as soon as possible and made up 35%. The “justice” camp at 22%, prioritizes defeating Russia over all other considerations. The “swing voters” 20% shows those who want retribution but are cautious about the risks and costs involved. The remaining 23% were lumped into the “rest” category.
The ECFR warned that as fatigue with the conflict grows in Europe and people feel the effects of rising energy and food prices, which their governments and the media attributed to the Ukrainian crisis, the “peace” camp will likely grow, increasing divisions in Europe. It called on European leaders to target the “swing voters” with messaging that addresses their concerns.