Updated April 24th, 2022 at 18:32 IST
Austria's FM says Ukraine shouldn't be given EU membership, Ukraine criticises statement
The Foreign Minister of Austria Alexander Schallenberg stated last week that Ukraine should not be awarded membership in the European Union.
As Ukraine is seeking membership in the European Union, the Foreign Minister of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg stated last week that Ukraine should not be awarded membership in the European Union. While Schallenberg supports stronger relations between Europe and Ukraine, he doesn't support the full membership of Ukraine. When asked why Ukraine shouldn't be granted EU candidate status this June, Schallenberg stated that Western Balkan republics are also now negotiating EU membership.
Ukraine has made it clear that it wants to join the European Union after years of growing relations with the West, and with Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the end of February, these appeals became much louder. Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concerns about Ukraine's increasing relations with the West both before and during the invasion, with many citing attempts to join the EU and NATO as examples.
Ukraine expressed disappointment over Austrian Foreign Minister's opinion
In the meanwhile, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed dissatisfaction with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg's opinion that Ukraine should not be granted EU membership. Oleh Nikolenko, who is a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry stated that the Austrian Federal Foreign Minister's words about Ukraine's European future have left Ukraine unsatisfied, according to European Pravda. He further claimed that Austria is strategically shortsighted and incompatible with the goals of a unified Europe.
He quoted Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba as saying that the Ukrainian people pay a too high price for many European governments' mistakes and that their distorted view of reality has already contributed to Europe's political and economic weakness. In the meanwhile, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already filed Ukraine's membership application, and European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, has stated that the EU wants Ukraine to join the bloc. In late February, von der Leyen stated that Ukraine belongs to the EU and that they want Ukraine in because they are one of them.
EU supports Ukraine
The European Union has supported Ukraine ever since Russia started its military aggression in the country. The 27 member bloc has imposed harsh sanctions against the Russian Federation. On Wednesday, Zelenskyy met with President of the European Council Charles Michel, praising the European Union for its continued support and aid in Ukraine's struggle.
Published April 24th, 2022 at 18:32 IST