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Swedes 'most willing in Europe' to help Ukraine

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Photo: TT
10:37 CEST+02:00
Swedes are more willing to risk conflict with Russia by helping Ukraine than people from any other European country, according to a global opinion poll.

Seventy-three percent of Swedes questioned by research group Transatlantic Trends said that they thought Sweden should provide Ukraine with political and economic support even if it worsened conflict with Russia, compared with 58 percent of respondents across the European Union.

The report was released as Russia and Ukraine agreed to a "permanent ceasefire" in the Donbass region where much of the fighting between the two sides has taken place.

More than 2, 600 people have been killed since the unrest began in Ukraine last year and around a million people have been forced to flee their homes. Previous ceasefires agreed by the two sides have been broken.

Sweden has an image as a neutral and peaceful country and is not a member of NATO.

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Swedes were evenly split when asked about participating in future NATO operations with 47 per cent supporting involvement and 49 per cent against.

However, when questioned on how they would feel if an operation was carried out with a mandate from the United Nations, 62% of Swedes said they would be in favour.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has made several visits to Ukraine since the unrest began. 
 
In May, he said the crisis "has shown how important it is that Europe stands united and strong when the European order of safety and security is threatened."
 
The global survey also questioned respondents about immigration, with 23 percent of Swedes saying they felt there were too many immigrants in their country, one of the lowest figures in Europe. Brits topped the poll in this area, with 57 percent questioning the number of people moving there.

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