Americans Want to Keep Ukrainian Conflict at Arm’s Length

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Getty Images

The situation in Ukraine has steadily become one with escalating international fallout, as Russian aggression and European concerns complicate the already complex fight of Ukrainian citizens for their rights, their government, and the sovereignty of their country. Both economically and politically, Ukraine’s future has strings spread across nations, tugging on industry interests and pro-democratic concerns.

Still, the United States must balance its own participation with national sentiment, which at present isn’t looking for much more involvement. So far the United States has taken steps toward isolating Russia, approving an executive order for further steps and sanctions against it in response to the country’s invasion and interference (specifically in the Crimean region), and offering up a loan of $1 billion to aid Ukraine in its transition and economic recovery from debt.

The Pew Research Center released a new study on Tuesday that examines U.S. opinion on how the country has dealt with Ukraine so far, and how individuals believe we should deal with the issue going forward. According to the study, 56 percent of Americans believe that “it is more important for the U.S. to not get involved in the situation with Russia and Ukraine,” while 29 percent want the U.S. to “take a firm stand against Russian actions.”

The survey examined 1,003 adults between March 6 through March 9 and found that the highest percentage, 44 percent, disapproved of the way that the Obama administration has been handling Russian and Ukraine so far. Of those leftover, 30 percent approved, and 26 percent took no stance on the issue. Democrats and Republicans are strongly split on the issue, with the GOP largely against actions taken so far, 67 percent disapproving and 15 percent approving, while 56 percent of Democrats approved and 19 percent disapproved.

Independents were closer in opinion to Republicans, with 52 percent disapproving of the administration’s handling of the situation and 24 percent approving. Even so, both sides of the aisle agree that the U.S. should keep its distance, 50 percent of Republicans saying that it is more important to “not get too involved in the situation” alongside 55 percent of Democrats saying the same.

When it comes to the specifics of how to deal with the situation, 8 percent say that military options should be considered, and 19 percent say that only economic and political options should be looked at. The largest chunk of those surveyed that were pro-military were Republican, at 16 percent, compared to 5 percent from both Democrats and independents. All three were considerably more supportive of political and economic measures, at 19, 24, and 18 percent respectively.

That said, part of the survey suggests that those more up to date on the issue are more likely to be in favor of a “firm stand” against Russia, as 47 percent of those following the news closely were favor of a strong opposition against Russian action and 43 percent had a preference for involvement, while only 22 percent of those not following the news as closely supported a firm stance against Russia, and 61 percent had a preference for uninvolvement. Either way, the results show a clear preference from both for economic and political action as opposed to military involvement.

More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

Follow Anthea Mitchell on Twitter @AntheaWSCS