France urges US to counter 'Russian influence' in EU candidate members
France's Europe Minister claims "a lot of disinformation and interference" regarding qualifying as a member, as some European officials stressed that new members be accepted based on merit.
France’s Europe Minister Laurence Boone is urging the US for help in countering the "Russian influence strategy" in nations applying to join the EU.
Speaking to Politico, she claimed "a lot of disinformation and interference" when it comes to qualifying as a member, as some European officials stressed that new members be accepted based on merit.
She continued to allege that Russia wants to "weaken the European Union” by undermining its expansion, as she called on Brussels to tackle the skeptical voices “as much as possible while respecting their sovereignty."
This comes after Western Balkan states and Ukraine have been identified by the EU leadership as potential members in the next wave of expansion, which European Council President Charles Michel and the bloc’s diplomacy chief Josep Borrell set as 2030.
The EU and its members have been previously criticized by senior Russian officials as being dependent on the US. The officials often remark that by following the US, the EU was now no different from NATO in its foreign-policy goals.
In an interview last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, "Today’s West is steered by people like Josep Borrell who divide the world into a blooming 'garden' and 'the jungle,' where the latter clearly applies to most of humanity."
Lavrov has previously slammed Borrell for spreading misinformation and making racist remarks during his tour of Africa earlier this year. The EU, according to Borrell, has the best combination of "political freedom, economic prosperity, and social cohesion" ever known to humankind.
"The rest of the world… is not exactly a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden. The gardeners should take care of it, but they will not protect the garden by building walls," Borrell said.
He insisted that Europeans have to be "much more engaged" with the rest of the world and put their "privilege" to positive use.