Borrell to discuss joining the EU, Ukraine not included
The European Union discusses new strategies to lift Europe from its dependency on Russian gas, and new European countries' accession into the union.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that the European Union needs to expand infrastructure to store and process more liquefied natural gas (LNG) as Europe seeks to diversify its energy imports, away from Russian gas.
In a new blog post, Borrell said his proposal guidelines will help Europe climb from its heavy dependency on Russian oil, gas, and coal.
“We need to increase our purchases of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from suppliers such as the US, Qatar, Norway, African producers, and others. To achieve this, we need in particular the infrastructure capable of receiving and processing LNG,” he wrote.
Read more: European Gas Futures top $3,600 per 1,000 cubic meters
Liquefied natural gas is distributed evenly across the 27-nation union, according to Borell, Spain accounts for a large share of the infrastructure - and Germany is close to zero. He said a pipeline is needed to connect Spanish LNG infrastructure with the rest of Europe.
Furthermore, within the next intergovernmental conference, the European Union also plans to start accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia as soon as possible.
"We need to start formal accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible. I hope it will be possible at the next intergovernmental conference," Borrell said.
However, despite the quarreling which has been going on for months over Ukraine's joining of NATO and the European Union, there was no mention of Kiev in Borrell's speech.
Just last Friday, Borrell admitted that promising NATO to Kiev was a 'mistake.'
"I am ready to admit that we have made a number of mistakes and that we have lost the opportunity of Russia's rapprochement with the West … There are moments that we could have done better, there are things that we proposed and then could not implement, such as the promise that Ukraine and Georgia would become part of NATO… I think it's a mistake to make promises you can't deliver," Borrell said.
Read more: European Council: EU to consider Ukraine's membership in coming days
For more than a decade, the European Union has been negotiating accession with Western Balkan countries - Albania and North Macedonia are candidates for joining the European Union.
Leaders of EU member states have also recently tasked the European Commission with compiling a report on Moldova's and Georgia's membership applications.
"The Council has invited the Commission to submit its opinions on the applications of the Republic of Moldova and Georgia," the document adopted on the first day of the EU Summit in Versailles said.
Ukraine's Accession to EU too soon
France's President said on Thursday that it is unlikely to start the procedure for Ukraine's admission to the European Union at this stage.
Before the start of the EU leaders' summit in Versailles, Macron said, "This is what we will discuss tonight. As you know, three countries, namely Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia have submitted official applications [to join the European Union]. We will discuss them tonight, and this is important. First of all, I think, this is the time when we need to send a strong signal to Ukraine and Ukrainians."
However, he doubted the possibility of starting such a procedure for a country at war.