Bulgarians Top NATO-Sceptics Rankings, Least Inclined to Keep Aid for Ukraine, Opinion Poll Finds

According to the polling results of a NATO audience research, released by the organization’s Public Diplomacy Division on July 5, as many as 30% of the Bulgarians surveyed would vote against their country’s membership in NATO, which is the largest proportion among all 32 member countries.

If the 11% “don’t know” answers are factored in, those in favour of leaving the North Atlantic Treaty would add up to 34%.

While 59% of Bulgarians would vote for their country to stay in the Alliance, this percentage is again the lowest among all NATO countries.

The survey was conducted between April 1 and May 6, 2024 ahead of the bloc’s Washington Summit, scheduled for July 9-11.

The 56% of respondents who believe that Bulgaria is more safe within NATO put them ahead of Belgians, French, Italians, Slovenians and even Americans. As many as 29% of Bulgarians fear that their country is less safe as part of the Alliance, only Italians being more apprehensive.

A substantial 69% of people in Bulgaria consider NATO to be important to the future security of their country – as many as the residents of Italy and more than in France, Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and the US. The 13% who think otherwise are outnumbered in Greece, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Less than half of Bulgarians (42%) agree with the statement that Bulgaria should defend another NATO country if attacked. Only people in Iceland and North Macedonia are more reluctant in this respect. The 22% who disagree outnumber respondents in Greece, Montenegro and Slovenia.

Those who agree with the statement that NATO membership makes it less likely that a foreign nation will attack Bulgaria are 55%, and Icelanders, Montenegrins and Slovenians are more pessimistic in this respect. The 22% who disagree with this statement are more numerous than respondents in Greece, Montenegro and Slovenia.

The 61% who believe that Bulgaria should spend more on defence rank the country second in the Alliance, after Albania’s 81%. Just 27% of Bulgarians said that their country should maintain current defence spending, and 6% think that the country should spend less on defence.

In Bulgaria, those concerned about the possibility of war in NATO countries are 72%, and those not concerned about such possibility are 17%.


Almost two-thirds of those polled in Bulgaria (66%) are of the opinion that Russia’s war against Ukraine has affected the safety and security of their country, and 29% think otherwise.

Among the residents of all 32 member countries, Bulgarians are least inclined to their country continuing to provide support aid to Ukraine – just 55%, as many as Hungarians and Macedonians but still more than Greeks (40%).

Asked whether they trust media in Bulgaria to tell the truth about the war against Ukraine, just 28% of answered in the affirmative (only Greece, 24%, and Hungary, 27%, fared worse in this respect), and 66% replied in the negative (again, Greeks are the greatest sceptics here: 70%).