Russia has revised its position on the issue of Ukraine’s accession to the EU

Polyanskiy refrained from direct statements about how Moscow feels about Ukraine’s desire to join the EU, but pointed out that Kyiv’s membership in the union of European states can no longer be part of a peace deal with Russia.

The Deputy Permanent Representative added that the Kremlin’s position changed after the words of the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, that the Ukrainian-Russian confrontation should be resolved “on the battlefields.”

Steps of Ukraine on the way to the EU

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky filed application for Ukraine’s accession to the European Union four days after Russia launched its military special operation. At first, the Kremlin reacted to this with restraint.

“The EU is not a military-political bloc, <...> in terms of the issue of strategic security, this topic lies on a different plane. In the constitution of Ukraine, the focus on joining the EU is fixed in writing. Probably, this process should be considered separately, ”said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian president.

At the end of March, after several rounds of Russian-Ukrainian negotiations, the head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said that Kyiv had proposed including in the agreement with Russia the wording that Moscow would not be against Ukraine’s entry into the European Union. Again, there were no sharp objections from the Kremlin.

In mid-April, Ukraine handed over to the European Union the first part of the questionnaire, which must be completed by countries applying for membership in the organization. On May 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the transfer of the second part.

At the same time, on the same day, French President Emmanuel Macron during a speech in the European Parliament declaredthat Kyiv “thanks to its struggle and courage is already a key member of our union”, but the process of Ukraine’s admission to the EU may take months or years.

However, the words of Borrell, which, as Polyansky pointed out, led to a revision of the Russian position, were uttered on April 9th. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, then stated that the European Union had turned from an economic organization into a “Department of NATO’s economic relations.”

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