New Poll Indicates 75% of Austrians Oppose Joining NATO
Despite the tremendous hype about NATO being the only rampart against autocracies and totalitarianism, only 14% of Austrians polled are in favor of their country joining the military alliance, while 75% are against, according to the results of a poll commissioned by the Austrian Press Agency that were announced last week. The respondents are thus very much in favor of maintaining the neutrality status that Austria has had since the end of the Allied forces’ withdrawal in 1955. It is however a member of NATO’s “Partnerships for Peace” program, which ironically includes Russia, as well as Belarus, Ukraine, and many of the Central Asian nations formerly in the Soviet Union.
In the same poll, asked whether Ukraine should become a member of the European Union, 46% of the respondents replied no, and 38% yes, the rest being undecided. Perhaps related to this result, EU Affairs Minister Karoline Edtstadler told APA on May 4 that Ukraine’s accession to the EU will not happen “in the next five to ten years,” pouring cold water on the option of a “fast track”.Shortly before, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg had suggested that Kiev should instead pursue an association agreement with the EU, or integration into the European Economic Area.