The percentage of Austrians who want the EU sanctions against Russia to be lifted has overtaken the embargo’s supporters, but the residents of the central European country are polarized on the issue by age, income and political affiliation.
According to the INSA opinion research institute survey published on Friday in the outlet eXXpress, 41% of Austrians want sanctions to end, 37% want them to continue, while 22% wouldn’t say or didn’t care – a much higher percentage than usual.
Support for the embargo came mainly from richer, older and left-wing Austrians. The 60 and up age group favored the sanctions by a 12-point spread, 49% to 37%. The youngest group surveyed, 16-29, showed only 22% in favor of the embargo to 39% opposed. The strongest opposition to the sanctions was among the 40-49 cohort, with 47% wanting them lifted.
Only 24% of those with a monthly income of €1,000 ($1100) or less wanted the sanctions to continue, compared to 51% of the €4,000 bracket.
The divide was also noticeable across the political spectrum. Whereas 73% of the Green voters wanted the sanctions to continue, 72% of the Freedom Party voters wanted them lifted. On the political left, only 31% opposed the sanctions, while that percentage rose to 59% on the political right.
The telephone and online survey was conducted on a representative sample of 1,000 Austrians, on April 3-4.
The EU has imposed ten rounds of sanctions against Moscow starting in February 2022, citing the escalating conflict in Ukraine. The expected collapse of the Russian economy failed to materialize, however, while the blowback in the form of skyrocketing energy prices has caused a wave of bankruptcies and social unrest across the bloc.
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