Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed, Friday, that Russia has “nothing against” Ukraine’s eventual entry into the European Union, after the European Commission recommended granting candidate status to Ukraine, in the midst of Russia’s military offensive.
“We have nothing against that, joining economic unions is a sovereign decision (…). It’s your business, the business of the Ukrainian people,” Putin said at the plenum of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg.
“Unlike NATO, the EU is not a military alliance,” he said, referring to the US-led transatlantic defense pact that Kyiv hopes to join.
“As for economic integration, the choice is up to them,” insisted Putin, who on February 24 ordered military intervention in Ukraine, citing the need to defend the Russian-speaking minority in the east from “neo-Nazis” as a government. You call it .from Kyiv.
However, Putin also said that if Ukraine was accepted into the EU, it would become a “quasi-colony” of Western countries. “That’s my opinion,” he said.
Hours ago, Russian diplomats accused the European Union of manipulating Ukraine with the possibility of membership.
“Western countries have been toying with the idea of some kind of Ukrainian participation in their integration structures for years, and since then Ukraine has gone from bad to worse,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
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