March 12, 2014

Let’s Sit This One Out

By Bruce Stokes, Director of Global Economic Attitudes, Pew Research Center

Special to Foreign Policy

While Western leaders scramble to devise a response to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine and pundits fulminate about a new Cold War, European and American publics have spoken. They empathize with Ukrainians’ plight, but they do not want to get involved.

About two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans say Russia’s intervention in Ukraine was unjustified. Nevertheless, more than half want Washington to stay out of the situation, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Meanwhile, separate European surveys show a similar disinclination to take forceful action. Germans, in particular, oppose economic sanctions against Russia.

In the days and weeks ahead, as the West calibrates its response to Moscow’s actions, leaders in Washington and Europe face a domestic challenge. Their publics are wary of a confrontation with Russia over Ukraine.

Read more at Foreign Policy