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Cypriots split over sanctions on Russia

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Cypriots cannot agree on whether EU sanctions on Russia imposed for its invasion of Ukraine are justified, as nearly half don’t support the bloc’s decisions.

Only 54% of Cypriots said they were behind sanctions on Russia, compared to an average of 80% across the European Union, reports the Eurobarometer for Spring 2022.

Cyprus is also one of the countries where people believe their daily lives will be affected by the Russian invasion, at a rate of 80% compared to an EU average of 61%.

The rate of those believing their lives will be affected by the ongoing war recorded in Cyprus is the second-highest after Greece’s 86%.

Cyprus is also an exception in the percentage of respondents who have a positive view of Russia, with 36% saying so compared to the EU average of 10%.

The EU average in 2018 was a higher 30%.

Less than half of Cypriots, 42%, have a positive image of the European Union, compared to 52% in the bloc.

Meanwhile, Cypriots seem to have little faith in Brussels, as under half feel that something good has come out of the island’s accession in 2004.

Only one in two Cypriots find that EU accession has benefited the country, with 53% asked said their country’s membership was a good thing.

The EU average was 65%, hitting its highest level since 2007, when the rate was 58%.

The highest percentage of a positive EU image was recorded in Ireland (76%) and the lowest in Greece (42%).

While four out of ten in the EU say they experience an impact on their standard of living due to inflation and the cost of living, 59% say defending freedom and democracy should be a priority, even if it would affect prices and cost of living.

In Cyprus, 48% of respondents believe that defending these values ​​should be a priority.

One in two Cypriots (51%) rank the restraint of prices and the cost of living higher in the priority even if it affected the defence of common European values. The European average was 39%.

Regarding the challenges they believe should be given priority by the European Parliament, Cypriots said it should be public health (58%), followed by the fight against poverty and social exclusion (45%) and the economy and job creation (42%).

In Europe, the fight against poverty and social exclusion ranks first (38%), followed by public health (35%), then democracy and the rule of law (32%).

The survey was conducted between 19 April – 16 May with the participation of 26,580 citizens across the EU, including 503 Cypriots, through personal interviews.