Record 83% of Ukrainians want NATO membership -poll


FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends the NATO summit via video link, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 29, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS

KYIV (Reuters) - A record 83% of Ukrainians would like their country to join NATO, a Kyiv-based opinion pollster said on Monday, citing a survey conducted after Kyiv applied to join the military bloc.

The Oct. 1-2 poll of 2,000 respondents by Rating Group was conducted after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced on Friday that Ukraine was submitting an expedited application for NATO membership.

Rating Group said the percentage of those supporting NATO membership was the highest ever recorded by a survey in Ukraine. Only 4% said they would vote against joining the bloc and 9% said they would not vote.

By contrast, in November, 55% voiced support for joining the bloc, illustrating how sharply public opinion has changed on the question of NATO since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia has, for years, fiercely opposed the expansion of the alliance, which it sees as a security threat and hostile.

The new poll indicated that support for NATO membership had risen seven percentage points since June.

(Reporting by Max Hunder; editing by Tom Balmforth and Bernadette Baum)

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