The Polish population is demonstrating against Ukraine’s NATO accession amid acceptance from heavyweight members.
Nearly half of the Polish population opposes immediate NATO membership for Ukraine, a survey has indicated. Officials in Kiev have insisted on being rapidly accepted into the military bloc, although heavyweight members such as the US and Germany have expressed their reservations.
An IBRiS poll conducted for the Rzeczpospolita newspaper reveals that 47.7% oppose Ukraine’s current NATO membership. The remaining 60% expressed no preference, while another 40% supported immediate membership.
In a speech on Monday, Polish President Andrzej Duda argued that it is difficult to envision European security without Ukraine as a member of NATO and the EU.
Duda expressed optimism last week that a choice would be made “regarding the first steps for Ukraine to soon join NATO” at the bloc’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, which gets underway on Tuesday. Additionally, he advocated for Kiev to be admitted as a “full member with full rights and guarantees.”
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in April that the “majority of Europeans” would not understand NATO leaders if they failed to extend a “well-deserved political invitation” to Kiev at the Vilnius summit.
Over the weekend, the anonymous NATO officials cited by the British newspaper The Telegraph claimed that Germany had spoken out against providing Ukraine with a clear roadmap or tangible assurances of joining the alliance at the Vilnius meeting.
Berlin considered that should Kiev be admitted to the union, it would immediately invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that an attack on one is an attack on all.
The Ukrainian leadership is well aware that joining NATO is “out of the question” as long as its military conflict with Russia is ongoing, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted last month.
Moreover, US President Joe Biden raised similar concerns, suggesting that Ukraine’s immediate NATO membership would mean “war with Russia.”
That said, Russia has considered NATO’s expansion to the east as a serious threat to its security. Russia’s military action against its neighbor was prompted, in part, by Ukraine’s desire to join NATO, according to senior Moscow figures, including President Vladimir Putin.