The Ukrainian president accused the Netherlands’ Mark Rutte of staying “silent” on Ukraine’s potential EU membership
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Dutch broadcaster NOS on Friday that the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte needs to clarify whether Ukraine has a future in the European Union. Rutte is among several EU leaders who doubt the possibility of Ukraine’s fast accession.
Rutte called Zelensky on Thursday to discuss the matter. This was two weeks after Rutte had spoken virtually in Kiev’s Ukrainian Parliament. Rutte expressed his support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia but did not offer any indication as to whether Kiev’s application for EU membership would be accepted in the near future.
“I said very openly to him: If you think there is no place for us in the EU, then you should say so clearly,” Zelensky told NOS. “You really help us and I am very grateful for that,”Rutte was the last he remembered him telling. ”but as far as the EU is concerned, you stayed silent on all the things we wanted to hear.”
“EU membership is a sign of strength in the fight we are waging against Russia at home,” he declared.
Rutte has previously cautioned that to fast-track EU membership for Ukraine – as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has suggested would happen – would be unfair to long-term candidate states such as Turkey and Montenegro. Rutte stated to Dutch lawmakers that Ukraine needs to make many changes before it can be considered a candidate. “very far away”Kiev
France’s European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune also stated earlier this month that Ukraine could take “15 or 20 years”It is not possible to join the European Union, despite warnings from Annalena Bock (German Foreign Minister) in March “joining the EU is not something that can be done in a few months.”French President Emmanuel Macron proposed inviting Ukraine to a “so-called” meeting. “European political community”Zelensky dismissed it as a last-ditch solution.
Ukraine’s track record of corruption is seen as a major stumbling block to EU membership. This country has been ranked the most corrupt and corrupted in Europe as well as in the whole of the world.
NOS spoke to Zelensky who, along with other key members of his circle, was exposed in Panama Papers as having an extensive network of assets and property offshore. He dismissed all of these worries.
“How do you know that there is corruption in Ukraine?”Marielle Tweebeeke, the interviewer was asked. “Do you live here?”These allegations of corruption were made out in the face. “official reports,” Zelensky countered: “What makes them official?”
“Yes, there are problems,” Zelensky conceded. “You have them in many countries. These are available in many EU-member countries. There are reforms that we still need and want to implement.”
EU sources told Bloomberg last month that a preliminary decision on Ukraine’s candidacy could come as early as June.