Survey finds popular support for NATO at a challenging time for the Western alliance

WASHINGTON (AP) — A survey of people in 13 of the nations belonging to NATO found a median of about 6 in 10 held a favorable view of the Western military alliance, the Pew Research Center said Tuesday.

The poll was released ahead of a July 9-11 NATO summit in Washington, which is being held at a challenging time for the 75-year-old Western military alliance. The 32 NATO member countries are adjusting their long-term plans and strategies to counteract a more aggressive Russian President Vladimir Putin and respond to Ukraine's need for sustained support against invading Russian forces.

Meanwhile, the presidential reelection bid of Donald Trump, who long has spoken scathingly of NATO allies and admiringly of Putin, has some NATO members worrying about the future commitment of the alliance's most powerful military and economy.

Support for NATO among the 13 nations surveyed peaked at 91% in Poland followed by 75% in the Netherlands and 72% in Sweden. Poland and Sweden are neighbors of Russia — Sweden through a maritime border and Poland with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad — and Sweden is one of the alliance's newest members, formally joining this year in the wake of Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

Just 37% of adults in Greece said they supported NATO, the lowest percentage of the countries surveyed, while 59% of adults there said they hold an unfavorable view of the alliance. Greece shares religious and cultural ties with Russia.

The survey found 63% of people in Canada viewed NATO favorably, 66% in Britain, 64% in Germany, 63% in Hungary, 60% in Italy, 54% in France, 45% in Spain and 42% in Turkey. The figure for Turkey represented a near-doubling in support for NATO since the question was asked in 2019.

Pew earlier released results for the U.S., which show 58% support for NATO. The survey was conducted from early January to mid-May.