The majority of Europeans continue to support Ukraine, including with weapons

Most Europeans favour continuing to support Ukraine, although the figures vary significantly for different types of support.

This is evidenced by the latest results of the Eurobarometer survey conducted in the last week of August in all EU member states.

The Eurobarometer survey reaffirms the widespread support among EU citizens for the responses taken by the EU to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including political and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and weapons supply to enhance its defence capabilities.

The highest rates of continuation of humanitarian support for war-affected Ukrainians from the EU were recorded: 86% of respondents approved it.

Eurobarometer survey on EU aid to Ukraine and response to Russia’s war aggresison

77% agree that the EU should accept Ukrainians travelling abroad because of the war.

Economic sanctions against Russia for the war are supported by 71%.

Approximately two-thirds of respondents believe the EU should support Ukraine on its path to European integration and integration into the single market – 67% and 65%, respectively.

65% approve of financial and economic support for Ukraine.

57% believe that the EU should continue to support the purchase of weapons and ammunition for Ukraine and help with military training.

The Russia-Ukraine war has become a war of attrition in the medium term. More weapons deliveries planned by the allies, including the EU states, to strengthen Ukraine’s defence capabilities, and the Russian regime’s unwillingness to withdraw its invading troops from the occupied territories means the war will last and the risk of a protracted war is high.

With additional resources for Ukraine, such as F-16 fighter jets, more modern tanks and long-range missiles, Russia’s potential of holding on to the captured villages and towns in the south and east is becoming increasingly hard. Putin’s invading troops are getting exhausted. However, they may still hold out until next spring or summer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will lose a prolonged war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated in an interview with The Economist.

The European Defence Agency signed 8 framework contracts with industry for the joint procurement of 155mm ammunition for Ukraine. The ammunition to be procured is intended for the most common self-propelled howitzers EU member states have provided to Ukraine: the French Caesar, Polish Krab, German Panzerhaubitze 2000, and Slovak Zuzana.

In late August, the European Union’s defence ministers discussed long-term financial support for the Ukrainian military in €20 billion. The EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell presented the €20 billion plan. It allocates €5 billion yearly for weapons and training programs for 2024-2027.

In March 2023, the EU Council approved a three-track plan to supply Ukraine with one million artillery shells. It includes the following steps: 1) supplying from its stockpiles, 2) signing contracts with private companies, and 3) expanding domestic shell production.

The two-billion-euro plan envisages providing Ukraine with one million rounds of ammunition within 12 months. Ukraine needs much ammo during an extended period to repel Russian invasion troops and liberate occupied territories as the war continues over 18 months.

Europe has significantly outpaced the United States regarding pledged military aid to Ukraine. The total amount of European commitments is now twice as high. This is stated in a Kiel Institute for the World Economy study.

In the period up to July 31, the total amount of aid provided and pledged by the European states increased to 156 billion euros, compared to just under 70 billion euros from the United States.

In an interview with Le Point, Emmanuel Macron expressed hope that the offensive of Ukraine’s Armed Forces will make negotiations with Russia possible. The French President emphasised that “good negotiations will be the ones that Ukrainians want”.

The Eurobarometer poll also showed that 80% believe reducing trade dependence on Russia and China is necessary. The Moscow-Beiing alliance in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine, at the EU borders, is perceived as a significant threat. China has supplied Russia with helicopters, drones, optical sights and metals used in the defence industry, according to a journalist investigation.

The European Commission has published guidelines for businesses on how to avoid becoming complicit in circumventing sanctions against Russia by trading with third countries.

The European Commission reminds that European companies must conduct “due diligence” when trading with a third country to eliminate the risk that their partners are intermediaries for circumventing sanctions.

For businesses in areas where this risk is heightened, the report provides detailed recommendations and a list of “red flags” that should raise suspicion when assessing a trading partner.

“Russia is applying increasingly sophisticated schemes to circumvent restrictions and is trying to continue to buy goods that its defence industry desperately needs to continue its aggressive war against Ukraine,” the European Commission said. Read more on this topic in our article.

However, Europe’s unity might be undermined. The pro-Russian Smer party has high chance of winning the Slovakia election in September, but 30% of voters are still undecided

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