Putin said that Russia has never been against Ukraine’s accession to the EU
The European Union is not a military union, therefore Russia has never been against the admission of Ukraine into its composition, Putin said. At the same time, he criticized the statements about the civilizational choice from the Ukrainian elite, which “stole” money from the people
Russia has never opposed Ukraine's membership in the European Union, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of the St. International Economic Forum, broadcasted by RBC.
“We have never been against it. We have always been against the military development of Ukrainian territory, because it threatens our security. That's what we were up against. But as for economic integration— for God's sake, it's their choice,” — explained Putin.
He pointed out that any country can make a sovereign decision to join economic associations. The question of whether it will benefit Ukraine,— this is the business of the people and the leadership of the country, Putin noted.
The President considered that the expediency of Ukraine's admission to the European Union should be determined by the countries of association.
At the same time, he criticized the statements of the Ukrainian elite about the civilizational choice.
“So called civilizational choice— what is it, excuse me for bad manners, in FIG civilizational choice? They stole money from the Ukrainian people, hid it in banks and want to protect it. And the best way to protect— is to say that this is a civilizational choice,»,— said Putin.
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Earlier in the day, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the issue of Ukraine's possible EU membership requires increased attention: “It still remains a different plane (not military-political.— RBC). Of course, this requires more attention. We all know about the intensification of discussions in Europe on the subject of strengthening the defense component of the EU— military, defense and security components».
In 2014, power was changed in Ukraine as a result of mass protests. Their reason was that President Viktor Yanukovych postponed the signing of an association agreement with the European Union. After that, spontaneous protests began in Kyiv in support of European integration.
After the flight of Viktor Yanukovych, Petro Poroshenko was elected the new president of the country. In 2014, Ukraine and the European Union nevertheless signed an association agreement. Poroshenko began to call Ukrainians a European nation that made its civilizational choice.
Ukraine's desire to join the European Union has been enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine since 2019. However, President Volodymyr Zelensky applied for membership after the start of Russia's hostilities in Ukraine at the end of February of this year.
On June 17, the European Commission recommended granting Ukraine the status of a candidate member of the EU. The head of the organization, Ursula von der Leyen, stressed that Ukraine has shown determination to live up to European values and standards, as it adopted tough laws against oligarchs and implemented 70% of the EU's recommendations for reforms regarding minorities.
Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the issue of Ukraine's possible membership in the EU requires increased attention. He explained that discussions about strengthening the defense component of the EU have intensified in Europe.
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