Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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France and Holland reject Ukraine’s fast-track EU membership plea – ‘It will not happen’

On Thursday, 27 leaders of the European Union attended a meeting in Versailles, France, hosted by President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the conflict in Ukraine and fast-track Ukraine’s membership. However, the bloc appears to be split between Western and Eastern European countries when discussing Ukraine’s membership.

Eastern European countries such as Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, who are decidedly at a higher risk of invasion from Russia, agree with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Ukraine should be given EU membership immediately.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said on Twitter: “Pressure on Russia must further increase, Ukraine’s defences strengthened. 

“Ukraine’s EU membership will fortify the EU and encourage the heroic Ukrainian people.”

Meanwhile, Western European countries such as France and the Netherlands are heading the calls against Ukraine joining the Union, blaming the slow bureaucratic processes. 

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Twitter ahead of his visit to Versailles: “The EU will continue standing shoulder to shoulder with UKR and taking action against Russian aggression.”

The Dutch PM stated that the process of integrating a country into the European Union is a process that is not able to be fast-tracked.

Mr Rutte stated: “This will not happen in the short term, because this is a whole process taking many years.

“There is no such thing as a fast track. I want to focus on what we can do for Volodymyr Zelensky. EU accession is something for the long term, if at all.”

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EU leaders have announced that in further sanctions against Russia, they will phase out purchasing coal, oil and gas from Russia after declaring they must be less dependent upon Russia.

Timothy Snyder, a professor of history at Yale University, said in an article for Foreign Policy: “The European Union was an answer to a war, a promise that the Second World War would not be followed by a third.

“Simply honouring the memory of World War II and claiming to have learned its lessons will no longer suffice.”

He stated that the EU must continue economic sanctions but “must go beyond that” as “its leaders must show that they have a vision of the future that draws from the history of war and helps bring this one to an end”.



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