Ukraine: Little support for US involvement

March 03, 2014, 5:26 PM GMT+0

Less than a fifth of Americans think that the US has any responsibility to protect Ukraine from a Russian invasion

As Russia continues its buildup of troops in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, the West scrambles to cobble together an appropriate response to Russia's military intervention. So far the statements coming out of Western capitals have fiercely condemned the Russian move - John Kerry described it as 'an incredible act of aggression' - but few concrete steps have been taken by anyone but Vladimir Putin.

The European Union is currently considering a range of sanctions against Russia and its leadership, while the United States has pledged to make Russia pay a price for its actions, but so far everyone has been silent on the question of whether or not the West is prepared to defend Ukraine against any wider invasion by Russia. It is highly unlikely that the United States would fight the Russians in Ukraine, even though the United States made a commitment to defend Ukraine in 1994 in return for Ukraine agreeing to give up its nuclear weapons that it had inherited with the fall of the Soviet Union.

The latest research from YouGov shows that the American public has little appetite for any involvement in Ukraine. Asked whether the international community as a whole has a responsibility to get involved in resolving the situation in Ukraine, less than a third of Americans (30%) think that what is going on in Ukraine is the world's business. 28% say that the world doesn't have a responsibility to get involved, while 42% just aren't sure.

Support for any US intervention to defend Ukraine against a Russian invasion is even lower. Only 18% say that the US has any responsibility to protect Ukraine, while 46% say that the US does not. Support for helping to protect Ukraine is higher among Republicans (26%) than among Democrats (13%) but just under half of both groups say that the US has no responsibility to defend Ukraine.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty

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