BERLIN (Reuters) – A growing percentage of Germans think the government has not done enough in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a survey showed on Thursday, as Europe’s biggest economy tries to balance its economic interests against sanctions on Russia.
Some 45% view Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s reaction to the invasion as insufficient, the survey by ARD-DeutschlandTrend showed.
A total of 37% believe it to be sufficient, a drop of 16 percentage points since a previous survey four weeks ago. ARD broadcaster, which published the survey, was not immediately available to explain what the rest of the survey participants said.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 spurred Germany into reversing a deep-rooted policy of not sending weapons to conflict zones, and Berlin has supplied Kyiv with anti-tank weapons and missiles.
Germany has also taken part in several sanction packages imposed by the European Union on Moscow.
But after years of prospering from Russian energy imports, Germany is convulsed by a debate over how to unwind a business relationship that critics say is financing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia supplies 40% of Europe’s gas needs.
Some 50% of Germans back an immediate halt to Russian gas and oil imports and 42% are against it, the survey showed. Its publication coincided with a meeting of the federal and states government heads to discuss aid for Ukraine on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Germany would consider backing a European Union embargo on Russian coal, adding that Berlin was open to tightening sanctions on Russia.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, Editing by Victoria Waldersee and Barbara Lewis)