“If Europe takes Ukraine, then it must include relations between Ukraine and Russia” – Politics

“If all goes according to plan, Ukraine will become a candidate country for the EU this week. The collective sympathy for the suffering and fighting Ukraine is great. Now or never for membership of the Union, I would lean to now. But it is not,” says Marc De Vos, PhD candidate at the Itinera Institute in Brussels.

If all goes well, Ukraine will become a candidate country for the EU this week. The collective sympathy for the suffering and fighting Ukraine is great. Now or never for membership of the Union, I would lean to now. But it is not. This is the wrong decision at the wrong time.

Would we elevate Ukraine to candidate status without the war? The Union is the geographical reflection of the cultural-historical Europe. Therefore, the expansion to Eastern Europe after the fall of communism was a matter of course: it was European countries that happened to end up on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. This extension has great benefits. But politically and ethically, she is heavy on the stomach. Democracy, the rule of law and the market economy are the DNA of the Union. They prove to be difficult to transplant. Once countries are members, there is no external lever for change.

Ukraine is Eastern Europe in square. Culturally historically partly Slavic, no democratic tradition, internally torn and a nest of corruption. Very large and relatively poor, even without war. The Union, which is already permanently struggling with internal cohesion and which Britain has lost, is not ready for Ukraine. A Europe of layers is discussed so that the Union in general can be enlarged and selectively deepened. It would be a good combination in terms of e.g. Ukraine, Moldova, Albania and the Balkans. But now Ukraine will be presented with full membership.

If Europe includes Ukraine, it must include relations between Ukraine and Russia.

It will be many years before Ukraine achieves reforms and stability to become a member of the Union. So we’re talking about a symbol. A European feature of the new Cold War with Russia. We’ve done this before. In the first Cold War, we signed an association agreement with Turkey in 1963, again for geostrategic reasons. But the European Union in 1963 was only an economic community. In 2022, it is a union of values ​​and identity. Nobody thinks that Turkey really belongs there. The country is permanently in the waiting room, to the great frustration of all.

No one knows what the world and Europe will look like when membership of Ukraine becomes conceivable. It is already inconceivable that the EU would accept external aggression or intimidation from a Member State: look at the Union’s position on northern Cyprus and Turkey in their relations with Greece. It seems likely that the Union will become a more mature security and defense society. At least that’s the point. If we want to include Ukraine, we must also include the relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Will we sign it?

Recognizing Ukraine or Moldova as candidate countries is therefore geopolitical to play poker with the future. At present, the added value is uncertain. The Kremlin will be able to whip up its propaganda about Western encirclement. Both countries have Russian-speaking minorities and are part of what Putin sees as Russian civilization. The cynical chess player can see in this a great opportunity to exaggerate the conflict. Additional territory to Russia could then become the last means of exchange for membership of the Union.

What we do know is what Ukraine needs from Europe in the short term. Heavy weapons, regardless of reluctance to provoke Russia. A gas boycott that torpedoes the Russian war economy. Often of billions to keep the country afloat humanitarianly and economically and even more billions for reconstruction. Does all this come a millimeter closer by calling Ukraine a candidate country? Or is Europe thereby creating a political distraction, a sweetener of goodwill, while Ukraine is bleeding?

If all goes well, Ukraine will become a candidate country for the EU this week. The collective sympathy for the suffering and fighting Ukraine is great. Now or never for membership of the Union, I would lean to now. But it is not. This is the wrong decision at the wrong time. Would we elevate Ukraine to candidate status without the war? The Union is the geographical reflection of the cultural-historical Europe. Therefore, the expansion to Eastern Europe after the fall of communism was a matter of course: it was European countries that happened to end up on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. This extension has great benefits. But politically and ethically, she is heavy on the stomach. Democracy, the rule of law and the market economy are the DNA of the Union. They prove to be difficult to transplant. Once countries are members, there is no external lever for change. Ukraine is Eastern Europe in square. Culturally historically partly Slavic, no democratic tradition, internally torn and a nest of corruption. Very large and relatively poor, even without war. The Union, which is already permanently struggling with internal cohesion and which Britain has lost, is not ready for Ukraine. A Europe of layers is discussed so that the Union in general can be enlarged and selectively deepened. It would be a good combination in terms of e.g. Ukraine, Moldova, Albania and the Balkans. But now Ukraine will be presented with full membership. It will be many years before Ukraine achieves the reforms and stability needed to become a member of the Union. So we’re talking about a symbol. A European feature of the new Cold War with Russia. We’ve done this before. In the first Cold War, we signed an association agreement with Turkey in 1963, again for geostrategic reasons. But the European Union in 1963 was only an economic community. In 2022, it is a union of values ​​and identity. Nobody thinks that Turkey really belongs there. The country is permanently in the waiting room, to the great frustration of all. No one knows what the world and Europe will look like if membership for Ukraine became conceivable. It is already inconceivable that the EU would accept external aggression or intimidation from a Member State: look at the Union’s position on northern Cyprus and Turkey in their relations with Greece. It seems likely that the Union will become a more mature security and defense society. At least that’s the point. If we want to include Ukraine, we must also include the relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Will we sign it? Recognizing Ukraine or Moldova as candidate countries is therefore geopolitical to play poker with the future. At present, the added value is uncertain. The Kremlin will be able to whip up its propaganda about Western encirclement. Both countries have Russian-speaking minorities and are part of what Putin sees as Russian civilization. The cynical chess player can see in this a great opportunity to exaggerate the conflict. Additional territory to Russia could then become the last means of exchange for EU membership. What we do know is what Ukraine needs from Europe in the short term. Heavy weapons, regardless of reluctance to provoke Russia. A gas boycott that torpedoes the Russian war economy. Often of billions to keep the country afloat humanitarianly and economically and even more billions for reconstruction. Does all this come a millimeter closer by calling Ukraine a candidate country? Or is Europe thereby creating a political distraction, a sweetener of goodwill, while Ukraine is bleeding?

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