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30 May, 2024 19:09

The EU keeps naive Ukrainians on the hook with more accession talk

Brussels seems to ignore the fact that Ukraine is a corrupt, authoritarian money black hole – all to “boost Kiev’s morale” and keep it fighting Russia
The EU keeps naive Ukrainians on the hook with more accession talk

“The European Union is aiming to start negotiations as early as June 25 on becoming a member of the bloc to help boost Kyiv’s morale, but has yet to fully overcome objections from Hungary,” Bloomberg reported this week. More “negotiations.” And a date to actually START these negotiations!

Yet another amping up of “marriage buzz” between the European Union and Ukraine. Not an actual wedding date, though. And here some of us figured that given EU accession talks for Ukraine were approved in December 2023, the talks would have already begun. So now we’re learning that they MAY begin in June?

Look, for high profile couples – which is what Ukraine and the EU would be – its kind of an unwritten rule that unless you read the wedding announcement with an actual marriage date in the New York Times, it’s not actually a thing. Andrew and Josephine, who holiday at Martha’s Vineyard and whose eyes locked across the room at a restaurant on Lake Como, aren’t making 200 announcements to the masses that they’re headed in the general direction of marriage, just as soon as Uncle Victor gets around to giving his blessing. Or when the rest of the family can figure out how to trick him into being in the bathroom so he can’t raise his objection to the union.

In this case, Uncle Victor is Hungarian President Victor Orban, who literally was out of the room last December so the other 26 EU member states could vote to begin EU accession talks for Ukraine with the requisite unanimity. As Politico reported at the time, the issue was still deadlocked after three hours and Scholz convinced Orban that dipping out would be a win-win in the sense that everyone could ram through their approval while Orban could still say he didn’t vote in favor. All Kiev really got out of that were bragging rights about the potential future union. Ask all the other guys who came before how that has turned out.

Georgia’s parliament can’t even pass its own law against foreign interference without the EU low-key threatening to break up with it. European Council President Charles Michel said last month that the law was “not consistent with Georgia’s EU aspiration and its accession.” So confusing! Because the EU and the West in general is always lecturing about the need to prevent foreign interference. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze even said that “if we pass this law, we will insure this country against polarization and radicalism in the long term. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for us to become a member of the European Union.” Unless the EU is the one looking to intervene, right? Total gaslighting territory and normally grounds to run for the hills and call off the wedding – if there was an actual date, which there isn’t. If you don’t like the EU’s demands now, just wait until you see the prenup!

Türkiye has been waiting for a ring as a “candidate country” since 1999, and is routinely subjected to speculation over whether its chances of ever getting to the altar are now totally dead. “Türkiye sidelined as EU a prepares to open door to others,” wrote Voice of America last year, citing Brussels’ ogling of Moldova and its fawning over Ukraine. It’s not like Türkiye hasn’t gone out of its way to act as Brussels’ bouncer for all the migrants flooding from Africa and the Middle East and trying to get into Europe. And this is the thanks that it gets – basically a transactional relationship with no firm date anywhere on the horizon. 

And speaking of Moldova, the EU apparently isn’t thrilled about living in union with Moldova when it still has an estimated 1,500 Russian troops hanging out, making sure that things stay quiet in the separatist enclave of Transnistria. Awkward! Particularly when you’re trying to put on some moves. Especially when a lot of those moves tend to be against Russia.

Serbia’s constructive relationship with Moscow is seen as a detriment to its own EU accession. Because Brussels is so insecure that it can’t handle that Belgrade would have close friends of whom it doesn’t approve if they were to get into a formal, committed relationship. That’s a pretty big red flag and one of the main hallmark behaviors of control freaks. But then again, we’re talking here about an entity headed up by a certain unelected someone who just last week was singing the praises of vaccines for people’s minds. Which would explain why Brussels also doesn’t like the fact that Serbia speaks up and has a mind of its own. European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi told Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic earlier this month “that Serbia needs to continue with democratic reforms and align its foreign policy more closely with that of the EU,” according to Euronews.

What do all these countries have in common that Ukraine doesn’t have – other than the fact that they’re being jerked around by Brussels while waiting for any substantial promise? Well, they don’t have an active conflict on their territory that constantly evokes fears of World War III, to start with – unlike Ukraine. And they aren’t also going to cost the EU a fortune in subsidies the day after the ring goes on the finger, as a European Council document leaked to the Financial Times last year suggests, citing €95.6 billion in agricultural subsidies that would mean 20% cuts of farming subsidies to the current farmers who have been protesting a lack of revenues all across the bloc.

There’s also that niggling issue of corruption. The BBC reports that Ukraine has been ranked at its highest level in the most recent Transparency International Index, published in January: 104th out of 180! Maybe they could just take Ukraine’s Eurovision ranking instead? “This whole Ukrainian corrupt mafia state has basically conned us all and we’re all going to get f**ked as a consequence. We are getting f**ked now right?” said former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top advisor, Dominic Cummings, in an interview earlier this month.

Does the EU seriously think that a country whose president just cancelled democratic elections and made himself indefinite leader is “marriage material”? If so, guess the bar was even lower than even the biggest cynics figured. What about some of these Ukrainian citizens who talk on social media about going to the store to buying bread in Ukraine, only to end up kidnapped by Ukrainian officials and held in a gym for a few days before finding themselves on the battlefront? Totally cool and normal for a potential future EU democracy?

But unless Brussels is the type to get drunk and run away and elope with the biggest headcase on their dance card, and seal a deal that’s destined to end in tears, it’s kind of pointless getting too excited every time Brussels starts rhetorically love-bombing Kiev. So why do they even bother doing it when they don’t do this with the other candidate countries (at least not to anywhere near the same extent)? To “boost Kyiv’s morale,” as Bloomberg pointed out – presumably to offset Ukrainians dying on a daily basis just so the West can continue to avoid any peaceful resolution whose terms it can’t dictate.

If Zelensky doesn’t come to his senses soon, as with anyone being strung along, it can only end in tears.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.