At least 80% of Ukrainians support imposition of visa and customs regimes with Russia, says sociologist
The share of supporters of the visa regime with Russia in Ukraine has increased from 40 to 80% since the beginning of the war, said Volodymyr Paniotto, the general director of KMIS. (Photo:dpsu.gov.ua)
At least 80% of Ukrainians have finally lost their illusions about the possibility of normal relations with Russia and support the introductions of customs and visa regime with the aggressor country, a leading sociologist has said.
Director General of the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) Volodymyr Paniotto said in an interview with NV on Aug. 8. that Ukraine had made its geopolitical choice back in 2014, when the majority of the population wanted unification with Europe, not Russia.
At the same time, according to the sociologist, only 40% of Ukrainians supported the introduction of a visa and customs regime with Russia by February 2014, and about half of Ukrainians wanted to have “special relations – without visas and customs” with the aggressor country.
“Perhaps this was because many Ukrainians have relatives in Russia, and they wanted to retain the potential opportunity to see them without obstacles,” Paniotto said.
The sociologist stressed that according to the KIIS survey for November 2021, 43% of Ukrainians answered that they have close relatives in Russia, another 14% answered that they have relatives in Russia, but they do not consider them close.
“The share of respondents who have such relatives increases from 33% in the west (of Ukraine) to 53% in the east,” he said.
“And now almost 80% would like visas and customs with Russia – from 88% in the west to 70% in the east. That is, this percentage has doubled – from 40% to 80%.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on June 17 announced that Ukraine was introducing a visa regime for Russians as part of countering unprecedented threats to Ukraine’s national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers made a corresponding decision on the same day. It came into force on July 1.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on July 7 that not a single Russian had tried to obtain a visa to Ukraine for the week.
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