In the UK, rising living costs seem to have outweighed concerns for Ukraine
According to the most recent opinion poll, the number of Britons supporting harsh economic sanctions against Russia as a response to the military campaign in Ukraine is down over the last month.
Conducted by Redfield and Wilton Strategies and commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph, the survey indicates that only 36% of the respondents polled this week are prepared to accept higher fuel prices in order to hurt Russia more – 14 percentage points down from 50% in March.
One third of Britons polled said no to the question asking if they are willing to fork out more money to support Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion. Another third, however, said it’s a sacrifice worth making.
A majority of respondents (54%) reported an increase in their financial condition over the previous year. This is up from just 42% two month ago. And 62% of those surveyed said that they anticipate worsening conditions.
More than two-thirds of Britons said they have not received a pay raise despite the growing cost of living, and most of those who did receive a raise said it’s not enough to offset inflation.
Based on these latest findings, The Telegraph surmised that personal financial woes may now have overshadowed concern over Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine in the eyes of the general public in the UK.
Following the start of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine on February 24, oil prices shot up to levels unseen since 2008. While they’ve slowed in recent weeks oil prices shot up to levels not seen since 2008.
Also, gas prices are on the rise. All of this has led to higher energy costs and increased gasoline prices in both Europe and America. The higher cost of transport has resulted in higher groceries and other products.
Britain announced in March it will eliminate Russian oil imports entirely by year’s end. This is not surprising given the skyrocketing fuel prices.
The fuel spokesman for British automotive services company RAC, Simon Williams, told the media that “March 2022 is going to be remembered as the most disastrous month in history when it comes pump prices.” He also said that “to describe the current situation facing drivers at the forecourt as ‘bleak’” would be “It is a bit of an understatement.”
Figures released on Wednesday indicate that inflation in the UK hit the 7% year-on-year mark in March – the highest level since 1992.
Officials in Britain acknowledged early on after the start of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine that sanctions on Moscow would result in economic blowback and hurt the UK, too. London continued with punitive actions regardless. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated that Russia could take over Ukraine and the price would rise.
Speaking on February 27, Truss emphasized that the “The pain we’ll face in the United Kingdom will be nothing like what people in Ukraine currently feel.”
The UK, along with the US, EU, Canada, Japan, Australia, and several other nations have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia, targeting, among other things, its central bank’s assets, a number of top commercial banks, and entire industries. The plans of several countries to eliminate Russian energy imports have been announced, including those for oil and coke.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German diplomats brokered the protocols to ensure that the region was granted special status by the Ukrainian state.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims that it planned to seize the two republics.