Pew Survey: Strong NATO Support Among Members, Except Greece and Turkey

A recent Pew Research Center survey reveals strong NATO support among member nations, as NATO prepares to send a special envoy to Ukraine to coordinate political and practical support

by Sededin Dedovic
Pew Survey: Strong NATO Support Among Members, Except Greece and Turkey
© Pool / Getty Images

A survey conducted among citizens of 13 NATO member countries showed that, on average, about sixty percent of respondents have a positive view of the Western military alliance, the Pew Research Center announced today, reports Assossiated Press.

The survey results were published ahead of the NATO summit, which will be held from July 9 to 11 in Washington, during a very challenging time for the 75-year-old Western military alliance. NATO's 32 member countries are adjusting their long-term plans and strategies to counter Russian President Vladimir Putin and respond to Ukraine's demands in its fight against the Russian forces' invasion.

On the other hand, the re-candidacy of Donald Trump for the US presidency, a man who has spoken very critically of NATO allies and with admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, worries some member countries about the future commitment of the US, the strongest military and economic power in NATO.

Support for NATO among the 13 countries surveyed was highest in Poland at 91 percent, followed by the Netherlands at 75 percent and Sweden at 72 percent. Poland and Sweden are neighbors of Russia – Sweden has a maritime border with it, and Poland shares a border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, while Sweden is the newest member of the Alliance, having officially joined this year.

It changed its neutral policy and sought membership after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. However, only 37 percent of adults in Greece say they support NATO, the lowest support among the observed countries, while 59 percent said they have an unfavorable view of the Alliance.

The survey found that 63 percent of people in Canada view NATO positively, 66 percent in the UK, 64 percent in Germany, 63 percent in Hungary, 60 percent in Italy, 54 percent in France, 45 percent in Spain, and 42 percent in Turkey.

In Turkey, support for NATO is almost double compared to the previous survey conducted in that country in 2019.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends the opening high-level session of the 2023 NATO Summit© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

The Center previously published results from the US, where 58 percent of respondents support NATO.

The survey was conducted from the beginning of January to mid-May.

NATO is sending a special envoy to Kyiv

NATO members have decided to send a special envoy to Kyiv, expanding the Western military alliance's civilian presence in Ukraine, the Alliance spokesman told the German news agency dpa on Wednesday.

The high-ranking official will be responsible for coordinating the Alliance's political and practical support on the ground as Ukraine continues to defend against the Russian invasion. The decision to send a permanent special envoy comes ahead of the NATO summit in Washington from July 9 to 11, where leaders are expected to officially adopt a plan for coordinating military assistance to Ukraine for the first time under an official mission named NATO's Security Assistance and Training for Ukraine (NSATU), Hina reported.

So far, it is unknown who will be appointed to the new position in Kyiv. The spokesman said that more details will be known after the official selection process.

NATO Holds 2023 Summit In Vilnius© Paulius Peleckis / Getty Images

Headquarters in Wiesbaden

NATO has had an official presence in Kyiv for almost ten years, including a liaison office and an information and documentation center that has existed since the 1990s.

This representation is responsible, among other things, for contacts with Ukrainian ministries and authorities in promoting political dialogue and practical cooperation. The new official NATO mission will also oversee the training of Ukrainian soldiers in NATO member countries.

Until now, Alliance member states have coordinated military aid not through NATO but through an informal Contact Group for Ukraine's Defense, led by the US. However, European allies were concerned about how much they could rely on the US-led Contact Group if Donald Trump won the US presidential election in November, doubting his willingness to continue maintaining Ukraine's military efforts in the war with Russia.

The NSATU headquarters will be in Wiesbaden, Germany.

China must clearly distance itself from Russia

The Biden administration is the most pro-Atlantic administration Europe will likely ever see again. It wants to reduce tensions between Europe and Asia by merging the two theaters with the argument that the United States faces a unique threat from China and Russia.

The White House has thus invited key Asian allies to participate in the upcoming summit. The idea of turning NATO into a global alliance of democracies is not new but remains attractive in some circles. However, any attempt to merge Russia and China into one threat will only go so far.

American allies in Europe ultimately have nothing to offer the United States militarily in Asia, just as the United States can only do so much to support its security in Europe. Russia is also not China, which still has deep economic interdependence with both Europe and the United States.

The interdependence between America's Asian allies and China is even deeper. Most of all, NATO should want China to withdraw from its entente with Russia, rather than see their rapprochement. Meanwhile, the pressure to expand the alliance eastward continues as Ukraine and its friends urge the alliance to fulfill the 2008 membership promise.

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