56% of Bulgarians dissatisfied with government’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – but which government?

Fifty-six per cent of Bulgarians are not satisfied with the government’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with 35 per cent satisfied and nine per cent holding no opinion, according to the findings of a Eurobarometer survey, released on July 10.

However, there is a nuance.

The fieldwork for the survey was done by interviewing 1028 Bulgarians between May 31 and June 18, according to Eurobarometer.

On June 6, a pro-Western government took office in Bulgaria, with policies on assisting Ukraine vastly different from the caretaker governments appointed by President Roumen Radev that it succeeded.

This means that the fieldwork spanned seven days of the caretaker government and 12 days of the Nikolai Denkov government (allowing for the fact that the caretaker government was in office for part of June 6 and the Denkov government for the other part).

Eurobarometer also polled Bulgarians on whether they were satisfied with the EU’s response – at least in the case of the EU, there was no change of leadership during the polling period.

Forty-eight per cent of Bulgarians said that they were satisfied with the EU’s response, 41 per cent were not and 11 per cent were undecided.

Forty-six per cent of Bulgarians backed EU sanctions on the Russian government, companies and individuals, 40 per cent did not and 14 per cent were undecided.

At the same time, 58 per cent of Bulgarians oppose financing the purchase and supply of military equipment to Ukraine, 30 per cent are in favour and 12 per cent were undecided.

Seventy-six per cent supported humanitarian aid for Ukraine, with 18 per cent against, while 64 per cent believed it was correct to welcome people to Bulgaria who were fleeing Russia’s war on Ukraine, while 25 per cent were against.

Fifty-four per cent backed EU financial aid for Ukraine and 37 per cent were against, with nine per cent undecided.

Asked if they supported granting possible EU candidate member status to Ukraine, 42 per cent of Bulgarians were in favour, 37 per cent against, with a significant 21 per cent undecided.

Asked if they agreed that the EU should reduce its dependence on Russian sources of energy as soon as possible, 62 per cent did, 24 per cent did not and 14 per cent were undecided.

Across the EU, approval for actions taken in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine remains very high, Eurobarometer said.

Eighty-eight per cent of EU citizens are in favour of providing humanitarian support to the people affected by the war and 86 per cent are in favour of welcoming into the EU people fleeing the war.

Seventy-five per cent approve of financial support to Ukraine and 72 per cent back economic sanctions on Russian government, companies and individuals.

In addition, 66 per cent agree with banning state-owned media, such as Sputnik and Russia Today, from broadcasting in the EU and 64 per cent support financing the purchase and supply of military equipment to Ukraine.

Sixty-four per cent also agree with the EU granting candidate status as a potential member of the EU to Ukraine.

All in all, 56 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the EU’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and 54 per cent are satisfied with the response by their national government.

In this context, 77 per cent of Europeans are in favour of a common defence and security policy. Eighty per cent think that cooperation in defence matters at EU level should be increased, 77 per cent believe that member states’ purchase of military equipment should be better coordinated, 69 per cent would like the EU to reinforce its capacity to produce military equipment and 66 per cent say that more money should be spent on defence in the EU.

(Photo of the handover to the Denkov government on June 6: government.bg)

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