Ukraine FM disappointed with Austria's remarks on EU membership
Oleg Nikolenko chastises Austria for not doing what Ukraine wants.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed disappointment with the Austrian Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg, regarding Ukraine's cooperation with Belgium and EU membership chances, according to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry on Sunday.
Schallenberg told reporters earlier today that Ukraine and Belgium need a new model of cooperation that does not imply complete membership of Ukraine in the EU.
"We are disappointed by the statements of the Austrian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs about the European future of Ukraine. We consider them strategically short-sighted and not in the interests of a united Europe. Such statements also ignore the fact that the majority of the population of the EU founding countries supports Ukraine's membership," said Oleg Nikolenko, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson, in a statement published on the Ministry website.
The Ukrainian people, according to Nikolenko, are paying a very high price for the "mistakes" of many European governments, which is the reason why Ukraine has every reason to demand the recognition of its strategic role in the face of the EU.
"Thanks to the indestructible will and courage of the president of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, Europe today can live in peace. Without exaggeration, our state has become an outpost of protection of EU security, European freedom and European values," the spokesperson added.
On February 28, the EU applied for membership just after Russia launched its military operation.
Earlier this month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Ukraine's accession to the European Union would be expedited.
Giving the Ukrainian President a questionnaire that forms a starting point for the membership decision, von der Leyen said, "It will not, as usual, be a matter of years to form this opinion but I think a matter of weeks." Zelensky has stated he would provide the response within a week.
Regarding Russia, she said, "Russia will descend into economic, financial and technological decay, while Ukraine is marching towards the European future, this is what I see."
In March, the leaders of eight European Union nations in Central and Eastern Europe backed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's call for the EU to expedite Ukraine's membership.