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Eurobarometer Survey: In EU, Bulgarians Feel Least Sympathy towards Ukrainians

EU-wide, Bulgarians appear to feel least sympathy towards Ukrainians, and the proportion of people in this country disagreeing that Russia is to blame for the war in Ukraine is larger only in Cyprus, according to a Flash Eurobarometer survey conducted between April 13 and 20, 2022. The results of the poll were published on Thursday.
Asked whether they feel sympathy towards Ukrainians, 39% of Bulgarians said they totally agreed, 34% that they tended to agree, 15% tended to disagree, 10% totally disagreed and 3% didn’t know. The EU average answers to this question were 54%, 35%, 6%, 3% and 2%, respectively.
The proportion agreeing they feel sympathy towards Ukrainians was the lowest in Bulgaria (72%) and the highest in Finland, Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal and Sweden (94%) and 96% in Malta (96%).
As many as 46% of Bulgarians disagreed that Russian authorities are responsible for the war: 27% totally agreed, 19% tended to agree, 21% tended to disagree, 25% totally disagreed, and 8% didn’t know. The respective EU averages here were 52%, 26%, 10%, 7% and 5%. Only Cyprus has a higher percentage of sceptics about Russia’s responsibility (52%). Bulgaria and Cyprus are the only two countries where less than half agreed. 
Asked whether Ukraine should join the EU when it is ready, 23% of Bulgarians totally agreed, 28% tended to agree, 14% tended to disagree, 21% totally disagreed, and 14% didn’t know. EU-wide, these percentages averaged 30%, 36%, 12%, 10% and 12%. 
The largest proportions disagreeing that Ukraine should join the EU when it is ready are found in Luxembourg (38%), Greece (37%), Hungary (36%), Austria and Bulgaria (both 35%), and Cyprus and Slovakia (both 34%).
Satisfaction with the EU’s response after the war broke out ranges from 29% in Greece, 32% in Bulgaria and 33% in Cyprus, to 63% in Romania, 65% in Finland and 67% in Denmark.
EU-wide, Bulgarians are least likely to be satisfied with how their national authorities have reacted to the war in Ukraine, just 28%, compared to 75% in Denmark, 76% in Estonia and 80% in Finland.
With regard to the response of the NATO, respondents in Cyprus (18%), Greece (24%) and Bulgaria (30%) are again the least likely to be satisfied, while those in Denmark (69%) are the most likely to be satisfied.
Concerning the response of the US, respondents in Cyprus (19%), Greece (23%) and Bulgaria (25%) are again the least likely to be satisfied, while those in Poland (73%) and Denmark (65%) are the most likely to be satisfied.
Respondents in Bulgaria (49%), Greece (52%) and Cyprus (54%) are least satisfied with how citizens in their country reacted to the war in Ukraine, and respondents in Poland (88%), Estonia (85%) and Finland (83%) are most satisfied in this respect.
Bulgaria (44%) and Cyprus (48%) are the only two EU countries where fewer than half of respondents approve economic sanctions against Russia. At the other end of the scale, 91-93% approve of economic sanctions targeting Russia in Finland, Poland and Portugal. Support for sanctions against wealthy Russians (oligarchs) shows a comparable pattern: the share approving such sanctions ranges from 46% in Cyprus, 53% in Greece and 58% in Bulgaria, to 90% in both Finland and Portugal and 91% in Poland.
Approval of welcoming in the EU people fleeing the war ranges from 75% in Bulgaria and 77% in both Czechia and Slovakia, to 95% in Croatia, Finland, and Malta, and 96% in Portugal.
Again, respondents in Bulgaria and Cyprus (30-31%) show the lowest approval of financing the purchase and supply of military equipment to Ukraine. In comparison, more than eight in ten approve of this measure in Finland (90%), Estonia (87%), Poland (86%), Lithuania (84%) and Portugal (83%).
Apart from in Slovakia, relatively few respondents support measures to reduce the EU’s dependency on Russian gas and oil as soon as possible in Bulgaria (63%), Hungary (67%) and Cyprus (69%).
Respondents in Bulgaria (39%), Cyprus (42%) and Greece (39%) are the least likely to trust the various information sources regarding the war in Ukraine, and those most like to do so are in Finland and Portugal (85% both).