Russia’s position on Kyiv’s desire to join the European Union has changed, now it is similar to the position on Ukraine’s accession to NATO, said Russia’s Deputy Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyansky. In an interview with Un Herd, in response to a journalist’s question about Russia’s position on Ukraine’s accession to the EU, Polyansky noted that the position changed after the statement of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell that “this war must be won on the battlefield.”
According to Polyansky, Russia’s position on Ukraine has also changed after the increase in arms supplies from the EU, which “became more like NATO.”
The Kremlin previously pointed out that the topic of Ukraine’s accession to the EU “lies on a different plane” than membership in NATO. Now out, in one? Why have approaches changed? Have you finally heard the words of Borrell, which were uttered last month?
Or maybe the imminent entry into NATO of Finland and Sweden, which are members of the EU and, in fact, part of the collective West, prompted a change in position, which could mean a serious step towards NATO.
But does it threaten Ukraine? Recently, there has been more and more talk in Brussels about the annexation of Ukraine. Isn’t this what influenced the change in Russia’s position? Why did she turn over so radically?
“Probably because we considered Ukraine’s accession to the EU impossible, unlike NATO,” believes Associate Professor of the Financial University under the Government of Russia Gevorg Mirzayan.
– Ukraine did not meet any criteria of the European Union, already a huge number of countries were categorically against the inclusion of Ukraine, so we saw no reason to resist what would not happen. However, now we see very unhealthy attempts to include Ukraine in the EU, so we have outlined our point of view. In addition, we see how the European Union is rapidly becoming politicized. If earlier it was possible to talk about some economic more or less independence, now it is turning into such a military economic appendage of NATO. Therefore, we, proceeding from these two reasons, are categorically against it.
“SP”: – Polyansky said that the position changed after the statement of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell that “this war must be won on the battlefields.” Didn’t you understand this before? And why did they react, a few weeks after Borrell’s words?
– As for the words of Borrell. I don’t think this is the reason for our decision. No, our decision-making process can indeed take several weeks, but still, here, Mr. Polyansky is rather using the words of Mr. behavior. And not because they considered it possible to draw Ukraine or the rest of Ukraine into the European Union.
“SP”: – Maybe the decision to join Finland and Sweden in NATO prompted?
“Perhaps it was a push. Still, this is also a change in the facets of the possible that were. Because, if earlier it was believed that Finland would not join NATO, now against the backdrop of this huge hysteria, decisions are being pushed through that were previously unrealistic and, moreover, were previously considered harmful to the national interests of the member countries.
In the same way, under the sauce of hysteria, they can push through a decision on at least granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union. Now is not the time to rely on the rationality of some players.
“SP”: – What will the change in Russia’s position on Ukraine mean in practice? Nobody in the EU is waiting for her…
“It won’t mean practically anything. It will simply be a kind of additional “stopper” on the way to making absolutely crazy decisions on Ukraine, if suddenly someone is going to make them. But decisions themselves will be made only in June, during which time a lot of things can change, including, so to speak, on the Ukrainian battlefields.
“SP”: – Will Russia’s position on Moldova and Georgia and other potential candidates for the EU change?
– You need to ask the Foreign Ministry about this, and again here a lot will depend on how the situation in Ukraine develops. The same Georgia, for example, perfectly understands the rules of the game, it perfectly understands that joining the EU will cut it off from the Russian economy, and for it the Russian market is much more important than the conditional European one …
“Obviously, the topics of membership in the EU and NATO have never been on different planes,” believes political scientist Vladimir Mozhegov.
– Russia could only be satisfied with the neutral status of Ukraine. But, of course, NATO membership is more fatal and unacceptable in principle. As for the words of Polyansky, I think it’s not so much about Borrell, but about the change in the Kremlin’s mood about everything that is happening. Here they left attempts to negotiate with Zelenskyand realized that the confrontation would go to the end. Borrell only indicated the same mood from the other side. I have a feeling that today the Kremlin no longer sees the future Ukraine in any status, except as a small formation with an exclusively ethnographic and tourist meaning.
“SP”: – The accession of Finland and Sweden to the EU predetermined accession to NATO, in your opinion? Being part of the collective West of the country, in fact already in NATO?
– No, these are different unions, although with a strong mutual attraction. And yes, the EU member state is becoming much more dependent on supranational structures. That is, as a rule, this is the first step towards joining NATO. But the opposite is also possible. Turkey, for example, is a member of NATO, but not the EU. (Also applies to Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia). Austria, again, is not a member of NATO.
“SP”: – Does it threaten Ukraine? Even if we hypothetically imagine that it will be accepted into the EU, does this mean a step into NATO? And vice versa, can it be taken into NATO without the EU?
“Ukraine will not be in either NATO or the EU. The maximum of today’s future of Ukraine is simply to stay on the map. At least as a toponym. This seems to be understood by everyone. At the Victory Parade Insert did not even mention the name of Ukraine. Everyone in the West paid attention to this and read it as a sentence.