Ukraine – a candidate for EU membership?

On June 9, Rouslan Stefantchouk, president of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament), went to the EU parliament in Strasbourg to ask for EU membership.

EP president Roberta Metsola and Rouslan Stefantchouk in Strasbourg. Foto: © European Union 2022 / Source European Parliament

(Alexandre Binder) – The members of the European parliament gave a standing ovation to Rouslan Stefantchouk, the president of the Ukrainian parliament, as he entered the Strasbourg hemicycle. This testifies of the friendship between Ukraine and the European Union. When Rouslan Stefanchouk asked again that the Ukrainian application for EU membership should be considered, a crowd of MEPs went cheering. This cheering was in sharp contrast to the morning debate, when a number of MEPs accused Ukraine to use the war for own purposes, by producing videos of Paris being destroyed, or almost treating Europeans as cowards.

Rouslan Stefanchouks speech was aimed at bringing Ukraine, Europe, and the world together. “It is not only a war against Ukraine, but against the world order”, said the president of the Verkhovna Rada, who then thanked the EU for the help that has been brought to Ukraine. However, it sounded not so much as a speech wishing to celebrate the friendship between the EU and Ukraine, but rather an attempt to hide how much Ukraine is getting weaker and needs help from wherever it can come from.

“If by June 24, Ukraine is not accepted as a membership candidate, then Poutine will receive a message”, were the closing terms of the speech which actually was a call for help or even a potential threat. Despite everything which has been said, what would be the impact of Ukraine being accepted as a candidate for EU membership? How would this affect the relations with Turkey? Does a country need to be in war on our continent to be accepted in the EU?

Of course, the EU stays firmly on the Ukrainian side, which is not too difficult given the Russian attack on their western neighbors. However, it is about time to stop the propaganda telling that “European values” are being defended in Ukraine. It is a bloody war which has nothing to do with “European values” and today, everybody tries to manipulate everybody. The EU should be the only contact for both Ukraine and Russia and the task of the EU is clear: put everything together to ease the way for peace negotiations. Peace must be the paramount objective of all talks, not just the delivery of deadly weapons and money. But, to be honest, this is not what Rouslan Stefanchouk said in Strasbourg.

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