Sanctions on Russia – as long as they don't hurt UK

William JordanUS Elections Editor
March 06, 2014, 12:27 PM GMT+0

Over half of the British public support sanctions against Russia, but many will only support them if the sanctions don't hurt the UK economy

Earlier this week YouGov polling showed that over half of the British public support strong economic and trade sanctions against Russia over that country’s actions in Ukraine. A new YouGov survey for the Sun suggests that the public support for such sanctions comes with strings attached.

Overall, 52% want economic sanctions against Russia, but support drops to 27% if the sanctions negatively affect the UK economy. 25% would support sanctions only if they don't harm the UK economy, and another 22% oppose sanctions either way.

The poll also found that voters tend to approve of how the government has handled the crisis so far, with 41% saying the government has handled it well and 26% saying badly. However, one third (32%) still don’t know how to rate the government response.

Legitimate intervention?

At a press conference on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Mr Yanukovych’s removal an "unconstitutional coup" and insisted that Russia’s actions in Crimea have been legitimate and legal under international law.

People in Britain appear to have their doubts. Only 8% view actions by the Russian government in Ukraine as “justified”, while the majority (65%) view them as not justified.

Many EU member states have close economic ties with Russia, causing hesitation when it comes to sanctions that might jeopardarize the region's economic recovery and result in further retaliation by Russia. For its part, the UK is the sixth largest beneficiary of Russian investement, and according to one study Russians spent over £500m on London property just last year.

On Monday, a government document was photographed outside of No 10 that said the UK should not "support, for now, trade sanctions ...or close London's financial centre to Russia".

Image: Getty

See the full poll results

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