Ukrainians split over joining EU, Russia-led Customs Union – poll

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Interfax – Kiev, March 21, 2013) Ukrainians have almost concurred (as received) about prospect for Ukraine’s joining the Customs Union (of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia) and signing the association agreement with the EU, a survey conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) between 23 February and 11 March showed.

According to the survey, 41 per cent of those polled said that it would be better to join the Customs Union and Single Economic Space now, 29 per cent supported the signing of the association agreement with the EU (the margin is statistically insignificant) and 19 per cent were undecided.

Asked “What would you do if a referendum on what Ukraine should join – the EU or the Union State of Russia and Belarus were held this Sunday?”, 38.4 per cent of the polled preferred joining the Union State of Russia and Belarus, 37.9 per cent backed joining the EU (the margin is statistically insignificant), 11 per cent of those polled would not take part in the referendum and 12 per cent were undecided.

The polled were also asked if they supported joining the EU if it would lead to the introduction of the visa regime with the EU non-member countries, including Russia. Some 45 per cent said that it would be better for Ukraine not to become an EU member and have open borders with Russia, 34 per cent favoured joining the EU even if it led to the (introduction of) visa regime with Russia and 19 per cent could not answer the question.

A total of 2,769 people living in all Ukrainian regions (including the city of Kiev) and Crimea were polled using the stochastic sampling, which is representative of Ukrainian population aged 18 and above.

The margin of error (0.95 probability and 1.5 design effect) did not exceed 2.8 per cent for indicators close to 50 per cent, 2.4 per cent for indicators close to 25 per cent, 1.7 per cent for indicators close to 10 per cent, and 1.2 per cent for indicators close to 5 per cent.