The President of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda has commented on his French counterpart’s offer to create a new cooperation format for engaging non-bloc countries like Ukraine and Britain.
According to him, his initiative could signify the lack of political will in the EU.
Nausėda admitted that Macron’s statement that Ukraine’s accession to the EU could take years reflects the reality of the negotiation process. However, he is also concerned that the French President could be sending a signal of the EU’s unpreparedness to grant Ukraine the candidate status this June.
“While I welcome the ideas of parallel political unions, I am under the impression that this is an attempt to conceal an overt lack of political will regarding the candidate status. And that is not good at all,” Nausėda noted, adding “I believe that before putting forward such proposals, it is first necessary to ask Ukraine what it makes of them and whether they meet its expectations.”
The Lithuanian President believes that is important to grant Ukraine the candidate status in June, with Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba underscoring that if the EU fails to deliver on its promise, Kyiv “will not let it pass.”
A reminder that the recently re-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has offered to create a new format for enhancing cooperation with countries outside of the EU, most notably Ukraine.
He also referred to the Schuman Declaration, a seminal speech made by the French Prime Minister Robert Schuman on May 9, 1950, that lay the groundwork for the EU, saying that the “world peace can only be safeguarded through creative efforts that reflect the dangers that threaten us, today they are more necessary than they were in the past.”
Macron noted that even if Kyiv receives a candidate status in June, it will still take years for Ukraine to join the EU. Accordingly, it would make sense to create a new, less formal grouping of like-minded countries, engaging the now-non-EU U.K. as well.
On May 9, Ukraine completed the second part of the questionnaire, one of the key steps in joining the EU.
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