Dutch public strongly supports Ukraine bid to join NATO
Roughly two-thirds of people living in the Netherlands said they were in favor of Ukraine becoming part of the NATO alliance. The belief is in line with a sharp increase in the percentage of people who believe Russia is now the greatest threat to European security.
A survey commissioned by the Netherlands Atlantic Commission showed that 64 percent of the public wants Ukraine in the multinational military alliance. “Almost half of this group believes that the country should also be allowed to join NATO if the war with Russia has not yet ended,” the Commission said. “Only 15 percent of respondents are against Ukraine joining NATO under all circumstances.”
Ukraine took a step to enter into NATO 15 years ago, but successive governments in the country decided not to pursue NATO membership further. That changed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2014, with the Ukrainian public becoming more supportive of the idea in the aftermath.
Since the Russian government intensified its invasion into Ukraine nearly one year ago, there has also been rising concern in the Netherlands about Russia being a destabilizing force in the region. Some 80 percent of Dutch people think Russia is now the biggest threat to European security. “This is a change from the situation just before the Russian invasion. At that time, only half of the Dutch saw Russia as the greatest threat,” the Commission said.
About 60 percent are also concerned about the outbreak of a third world war, with half of them believing this has already started because of the scale of the war in Ukraine. Despite the survey respondents’ concerns, 44 percent believe Europe would be able to cope if it had to fight against Russia in a war, up from 15 percent a year ago.
The survey of 1,100 adults living in the Netherlands also showed that 88 percent find NATO membership either important or very important for the security of the country. During the four-year period from 2019-2022, that figure fluctuated around 75 percent. “A large group of Dutch people are also (very) positively supportive of the crucial Article 5, which stipulates that an attack on one ally means an attack on all allies,” the Commission said.
The defence leaders of NATO countries met on Tuesday with Oleksii Reznikov, the Ukrianian defence minister, to discuss the current situation in Reznikov's country. NATO countries, including the Netherlands, have made more pledges of support to Ukraine recently with commitments for "more heavy weapons and military training," NATO said. An alliance-run assistance program is also "providing Ukraine with food, fuel, medical supplies counter-drone equipment and amphibious bridges."
NATO also said allied defence ministers "also agreed to step up support to other partners at risk, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Georgia and Moldova."