AllvertaGlobal – Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had no objections if Ukraine joined the European Union.
Putin’s comments were in response to the recent historic decision by the European Union Commission to finally declare support for Ukraine to become a member of the bloc.
“We are not against it. It is not a military bloc. It is the right of any country to join an economic union,”
Putin said Friday when asked about Ukraine’s prospects of joining the EU.
Speaking at the annual economic forum in St. Petersburg, Putin questioned whether the EU would really allow Ukraine to fully join. Because, according to him, Ukraine will need large economic subsidies and maybe some EU member states are not willing to provide them if Kyiv officially joins.
Russia does not really have a problem with Ukraine joining the European Union. However, Moscow balked at the former Soviet Union’s joining the NATO military alliance. The closeness of Kyiv and NATO that continues to strengthen is even considered to be one of the reasons Russia invaded Ukraine.
Prior to launching the invasion in February, Putin had also sought security guarantees from the United States that Ukraine would not be accepted into any military alliance.
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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the same thing. He said the Kremlin was closely monitoring Ukraine’s efforts to become a member of the European Union, especially regarding increasing defense cooperation between the two.
“This issue requires our high attention, as we are all aware of the intensification of discussions in Europe on the issue of strengthening the EU defense component,” Peskov said in a phone call with reporters.