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Nearly 40% of Ukrainians Back Immediate Dismissal of President Poroshenko - Poll

© AP Photo / Sergei Chuzavkov / Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine (File)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine (File) - Sputnik International
A recent survey of 2,000 Ukrainian citizens aged over 18 was conducted by the sociological group "Rating" via face-to-face interviews on November 22-30; the results were revealed on December, 21.

Poroshenko's support

Thirty-eight percent of Ukrainian citizens advocate the immediate removal of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko from office, while only 13.8 percent of those who intend to vote in the 2019 presidential election said they would support his reelection, a report dubbed "Socio-Political Moods of the Population: November 2017" based on a survey of Ukrainians which was revealed Thursday.

"45% of those polled believe that P. Poroshenko needs to be allowed to finish his presidential term and furthermore, to be replaced as a result of the election. 38% support his immediate removal from the post of the President of Ukraine," the Sociological Group Rating poll said.

The poll also found that Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Batkivshchyna Party and a former Ukrainian prime minister, topped the ratings.

Visa regime with Russia

More than 50 percent of Ukrainians oppose the idea of introducing visa requirements for travel between their country and Russia, according to the survey.

"In the case of a referendum on the introduction of a visa regime with Russia, this initiative would be supported by 32% of the respondents; 51% — stand against it, 4% — would not vote, 13% — have not decided on the answer," the report published on the sociological group's website said.

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The report added that 42 percent of people living in the country's western regions backed introducing visas between the two states, making it the highest share among all the macro-regions, however, the same number of respondents from Ukraine's west opposed the move.

A number of Ukrainian officials, including members of the parliament, have repeatedly called for the introduction of a visa regime with Russia, however, the Ukrainian authorities believe that it would have a negative impact on the country's citizens. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow would adhere to the reciprocity principle in visa-related issues with Kiev.

Instead of a visa regime, Ukraine will introduce a biometric control system at checkpoints, including on the Russian border, from January 1.

READ MORE: Ukraine Parliament May Vote to End Visa-Free Entry for Russians in Fall

Early Parliamentary Elections

A total of 47 percent of Ukrainians support early elections of the Verkhovna Rada, the national parliament, a poll showed Thursday.

"Pre-term elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are supported by 47% of the respondents, 41% stand against such an initiative, and 12% have not decided on this issue. 44% of those polled support the pre-term elections of the President of Ukraine, 46% do not support it, and 10% have not decided," the statement issued by Ukraine’s Rating group reads.

The next elections to the country’s parliament are expected to take place in the fall of 2019, while the presidential election is set for March 31, 2019.

Political Parties' Popularity

The Ukrainian Batkivshchyna party led by Yulia Timoshenko and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's bloc Solidarnist (Bloc Solidarity) have the leading positions among the country's political parties.

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16.8 percent of potential voters would cast their ballots for the Batkivshchyna party, while the Solidarity party would be supported by 14.5 percent. The Opposition Bloc ranks third with 9.4 percent, according to the poll.

The poll specified that 8.9 percent of voters would support Za Zhyttia party (For Life), 7.7 percent would vote for the Radical Party, the Civic Position is likely to gain 6.8 percent, Samopomic (Self Reliance) — 6.5 percent and the Svoboda party would have 5.6 percent.

At the same time, 22.5 percent of potential voters said that they would not vote for Poroshenko's party and 11.5 percent would not vote for the Opposition Bloc. Batkivshchyna ranks third in the so-called anti-rating with 6.2 percent.

The next presidential election in Ukraine is expected be held in autumn 2019.

READ MORE: Ukraine Parliament May Vote to End Visa-Free Entry for Russians in Fall

Entering NATO

As many as 47 percent of Ukrainians would support the country joining NATO, while support for the country's EU membership has been expressed by 59 percent of Ukrainian citizens, a poll conducted by the sociological group showed Thursday.

"Ukraine joining NATO would be supported by 47% of the respondents in a referendum, 36% — would not support it, 13% — have not decided, and 4% would not take part in the referendum," the survey said.

According to the poll, the Western regions of the country are more supportive of NATO accession (71 percent), while in eastern Ukraine the initiative is desired by only one-quarter of the population (25 percent). The same trend is being observed with respect to the country's potential EU membership.

"Ukraine's integration into the European Union is supported by 59% of the respondents, 26% — stand against it, 11% — have not decided, 4% — would not take part in a referendum on this issue. The highest level of support for the idea of EU membership is recorded among the western residents (81%), the lowest was recorded in the East (39%)," the survey found.

READ MORE: NATO's Eastwards Expansion: The West's Original Sin

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Ukraine began its cooperation with NATO soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, though it has long enjoyed a non-aligned status. Following the Euromaidan events and a snap presidential election, Ukraine renounced its non-aligned status in 2014. In June 2016, the Ukrainian authorities indicated that membership in NATO was an objective of country's foreign policy, which, according to experts, it is not likely to be achieved in the next 20 years.

Likewise, Kiev has long been seeking to receive the prospect of membership in the European Union. Ukraine demanded that the clause to be included in the EU-Ukraine association agreement, but that did not happen.

Donbass' Returning

Forty-three percent of Ukrainians support returning the breakaway Donbass region to the country by political and diplomatic means, a poll, conducted by the Sociological Group Rating, said Thursday.

According to the poll, just 11 percent were in favor of "returning [the territories] by force," and 8 percent were for the secession of these territories from Ukraine.

Another 13 percent of respondents called for giving the self-proclaimed Donbas republics the status of autonomy, but under the condition that they remain within Ukraine. A total of 17 percent supported freezing the military conflict and ceasing all hostilities.

In April 2014, Kiev launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) that refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government. In February 2015, the conflicting parties signed a ceasefire agreement in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk, but the situation in the region has remained tense.

READ MORE: Conflict in Donbass Cannot Be Resolved Only Through Normandy Format — Kremlin

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