As expected, the Kremlin’s response that Ukraine is now an official candidate for accession to the European Union has been muted. In Moscow, the award ceremony at the EU summit was simply described as Europe’s “internal affair”. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made it clear that any confession should in no way worsen EU-Russia relations – after all, they are “pretty spoiled already”.
For Russia, it is “very important that all these processes do not create further problems for us and cause further problems in the relations between these countries and us”. Against the background of the Russian offensive in the war in Ukraine, the heads of state or government of the 27 EU member states on Thursday granted both Ukraine and Moldova candidate status.
The decision is the start of a long and complex process. Georgia, an ex-Soviet republic against which Russia was at war in 2008 and which had also applied for membership, was first asked to reform for candidate status.
“Very hard” to further damage relationships
He hopes the EU states’ decision will not lead to a deterioration in relations between Moscow and Brussels, which are currently at such a low level “that it is very difficult to inflict any more damage on them”, said Peskov. Referring to Moldova, where pro-Russian separatists are in charge and Russian soldiers are stationed in the part of the country, he criticized that this country wanted to “become more European than the Europeans themselves”.
Zelenskyy: Ukraine no “buffer”
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made it clear: “Ukraine is not a bridge, no pillow between the West and Russia, no buffer between Europe and Asia, no sphere of influence, no gray zone, no transit country,” the 44-year-old head of state said in a statement. a video speech published Friday.
Ukraine is a “future equal partner for at least 27 EU countries.” Ukraine is no longer a “third country” but joins the European Union.
“We can’t change geography”
In the same video, parliament speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk said this decision would change history. The 46-year-old said: “We cannot change the geography. Russia will remain our neighbor.” But in this case, history beat geography, Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal went on to highlight the new prospects for Ukraine through his candidate status: Kiev now has “access to new EU financial aid programs”.
The 46-year-old hoped for new investments and jobs. “From now on, our state will not only adopt the European experience, but also be able to influence the industrial policy of the European Union,” he emphasized. Ukraine’s integration process is irreversible.
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.