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Poll: Hungarians see Ukraine as a bigger threat than Russia

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More than half of Hungarian society believes that Ukraine is the main threat to Hungary, greater than Russia, according to the latest survey “The World Through Hungarian Eyes”, published by the Hungarian think tank Policy Solutions.

More than half of the respondents (51 percent) indicated Ukraine as the biggest threat from the point of view of Hungarian. The next places were taken by Russia (46%) China and USA (34 percent each). As the authors of the report point out, this means a big change compared to the previous year, when Hungarians were much more likely to perceive Russia as a threat than Ukraine. The survey published in recent days also showed similar perceptions by Hungarian society of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin: the first one was assessed negatively by 61 percent of respondents, and the second one – by 63 percent.

Volodymyr Zelensky, Viktor OrbanZOLTAN FISCHER/EPA/PAP

Key partners in the eyes of Hungarians

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More than a quarter (27%) of Hungarians believe that it would be in the interest of their country to strengthen ties with Russia and distance itself from the European Union. At the same time, 43% of society rejects closer cooperation with Russia, the authors of the report point out. Respondents stated that cooperation with Russia is crucial for Hungary. Austria (84%), Germans (80 percent) and Croatia (79 percent), 76 percent of society also considered cooperation with Poland as important. Russia was indicated by 48 percent, and Ukraine by 39 percent of respondents. “A year earlier, Russia was in last place (in this ranking) (…). In the case of Ukraine, we noted a sharp drop in the percentage of people perceiving it as an important partner,” the report noted.

Viktor Orban and Vladimir PutinPAP/EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

They want to be in NATO

Half of Hungarians (50%) believe that their country should remain in the West in terms of values. The society supports NATO membership and does not believe that the North Atlantic Alliance or European Union were to collapse within the next 20 years. In addition, 76 percent of respondents believe that in the event of a Russian attack on a Baltic country, Hungary should send troops to support its allies. The report is based on a survey conducted by Zavecz Research between March 1 and 9, 2024, on a representative sample of 1,000 people using face-to-face interviews.

Main image source: ZOLTAN FISCHER/EPA/PAP

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