The European Commission recommended granting Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidates for EU membership. The decision is not final: the last word remains with the leaders of 27 EU countries, who will gather for a summit in a week. How much consensus is possible when the desire to support Ukraine costs the EU more and more?
Georgia has not yet matured to the status of a candidate for EU membership, but Ukraine is already 70 percent quite a European entity. This conclusion was made in the European Commission and recommended at the upcoming summit at the end of June to approve its application.
“We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream,” said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
However, the plans may remain a dream: Turkey, which has been waiting for decades to join, will not let you lie, especially since the European Commission puts forward tough conditions for Kyiv in the fight against corruption, oligarchs, compliance with legal principles, and so on. How feasible all this is, the Spanish press doubts and urges not to harbor unnecessary illusions.
“Brussels reaches out to Ukraine in violation of its own rules, but emphasizes that joining the 27 Club will require substantial sacrifice,” writes El Mundo.
Ukraine for the EU can become a bottomless barrel into which endless millions of euros will have to be poured, since now it is poorer than the poorest country in the European Union. Portugal does not like this prospect, the Netherlands is also opposed, and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer delicately points to the Balkan countries wishing to join the EU. Much more Ukraine is ready for this.
Nehammer explained that his country would approve candidate status for Ukraine only if the same decision was made for Bosnia and Herzegovina: “We need to be sure that similar measures apply to EU applicants in Western Balkans”.
Yes, and French President Emmanuel Macron, who just the day before in Kyiv sent a clear signal to the entire Ukrainian leadership, has already backed down today, emphasizing that there is no talk of any accelerated entry. He himself is not averse to going to Moscow if he receives a signal from Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
“Ukraine, in principle, should not have become a candidate. The status of a candidate means that we are launching a process that can take years. We made this decision because there is a war going on and we think that this step is the right one,” Macron said.
German journalists claim that in fact, a trio of European leaders came to Kyiv for another – to secretly convince Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to start negotiations with Russia. Perhaps Macron whispered these words to the Ukrainian president after a joint press conference, they joke on social networks.
The British press has a different version.
Macron’s attempt to lure the Ukrainian president into a PR hug at a joint post-tour press conference was not warmly received. Zelenskiy looked like he’d rather fight in the Severodonetsk trenches when the flattering French leader, impeccably dressed in his signature navy suit , hugged Zelensky with a hand in a starched sleeve,” writes the Daily Mail.
French newspapers also did not lag behind their colleagues and summed up the visit with a caricature.
Macron wins all the power of the French media to his side: his exclusive interviews are broadcast on TV channels, and journalists vied with each other to talk about the smallest details of this, in their opinion, extremely risky trip, where the president, in their vision, showed himself to be a real French leader. And all this is happening three days before the decisive vote in the parliamentary elections, where Macron really needs to get a majority.
And then, at the wrong time, France stops receiving Russian gas: not because it itself refused – problems with Gazprom’s equipment do not allow pumping the previous volumes to Europe. After the repair, Canada does not give the necessary turbine due to sanctions.
“The sanctions that we have imposed are wide-ranging. And they, along with our financial, humanitarian and military support (of Ukraine – ed.), should influence Russia and force it to withdraw its troops,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Sanctions will not be lifted, Scholz says, but immediately information pops up in Reuters that Berlin is already looking for ways to get around them in order to return the turbine to its place and receive Russian gas in the same volumes. In the meantime, European gas storage facilities that are about half full have to be opened to make up for the lack of fuel on the market. The price has already flown over 1,500 euros per thousand cubic meters. The high cost, according to experts, will last the whole next year, so there is little sense in the sanctions, writes Die Welt. It was also not possible to achieve isolation of Russia.
“Who, in fact, firmly sided with the Europeans and the United States? Who supported the sanctions, which so far turned out to be much weaker than expected for the Russian economy? Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia. That’s all,” notes German edition.
The West’s strategy turned out to be wrong, but stubborn inertia, an unwillingness to lose face and kicks from Washington do not allow the Europeans to stop the supply of weapons. Although in the same France, the military begin to grumble.
“It takes from 18 to 24 months to manufacture the Caesar installation, and we only make ten pieces a year. Nevertheless, we have just delivered 18 of them to Ukraine, that is, more than a year and a half supply,” writes L’Express .
European leaders ignore these calculations, as well as the fact that the Russian army quickly disposes of most of the delivered. They listen to the Ukrainians, who tell them about the June successes at the front according to the March 20 map of the American Institute for the Study of War. On the air of TV channels, footage from Donetsk is played, blaming Russia for the shelling, and then they include Zelensky’s requests to send another wagon of weapons.
“Civilian objects are constantly being targeted by the Russian army. This is a market in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Or, rather, what is left of it. Ukrainian forces are becoming increasingly vulnerable to massive attacks by the better-armed Russian army. committee made an urgent appeal for help,” they say on German TV news.
Then they apologize that they ripped off – an isolated case – the word “Russian” is removed from the text, but which army committed the crimes, they do not say. Apparently, according to their version, regular shelling of civilians in the Donbass happens by itself.