Ukraine will be an asset, not a burden, after it joins EU – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister

Ukraine will be an asset, not a burden, after it joins EU – Ukraine’s Foreign Minister
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Ukraine will be an “asset, not a burden” when it becomes a full member of the European Union.

Source: Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in an interview with Euractiv, reported by European Pravda

Quote: “Ukraine is not a burden, Ukraine is an asset. If we were a burden, no one would seriously talk about Ukraine’s membership in the EU – do not forget that we are a nation of 44 million people, we are a very large market.

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And economically, the source of the EU’s prosperity in its current form is the common market. With Ukraine’s accession, the common market will expand exponentially, and this will bring benefits.”  

Details: Kuleba said that Ukrainians have been frustrated for years by “the EU’s inability to promise Ukraine the prospect of membership. For years, the people of the Western Balkans have also been frustrated by the EU’s inability to deliver on the promise of membership.

It would be irresponsible for the EU to lose this historic opportunity to take a step towards enlargement not only with Ukraine but with all other countries,” he added.

Kuleba said that “obstacles can always be expected, but we are quite experienced in overcoming any obstacles” and stressed that he was “inspired by the fact that the current leaders understand this and want to take advantage of this opportunity”.

“It is in the interests of both Hungary and Slovakia to have Ukraine as a member,” Kuleba said.

“But it’s also right that on the way to membership in the European Union, different members will try to get as much as possible in the accession process, because it’s a diplomatic negotiation,” he added.

An internal memo seen by Euractiv earlier this year highlighted that enlargement could have a significant impact on the two largest EU budget sectors – the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Cohesion Policy.

Kuleba dismissed these concerns, but acknowledged that it was likely that negotiations on agriculture, an area in which Ukraine is a European leader, would be difficult.

“But if both Ukraine and the EU are guided by the vision of common prosperity and security, we will find answers to the questions and achieve the right balance,” he added.

Background: The European Commission recommended that EU states start accession talks with Ukraine, but Kyiv must implement some of the reforms that have not yet been implemented. The EC also recommended opening negotiations with Moldova.

The EC is also in favour of granting Georgia candidate status, but with certain conditions.

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