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9 Nov, 2023 23:03

EU won’t keep promises to Ukraine – Kremlin

Brussels is treating Kiev like a donkey chasing a carrot, Dmitry Peskov has said
EU won’t keep promises to Ukraine – Kremlin

The EU promise of negotiations with Ukraine on eventual membership is a shallow ruse, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday, using a ‘dangling carrot’ metaphor.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that she had recommended launching membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova, once the two countries have implemented the reforms required by Brussels.

“We are talking about a carrot that is tied [to a stick] in front of the cart,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman told journalist Pavel Zarubin. “These promises are unlikely to be real.”

Peskov was referring to the folk story of a farmer who motivated his donkey by dangling a treat just ahead of the cart it is pulling. The donkey would keep chasing the carrot, but could never catch it – and in some versions of the story, would get beaten with the stick if it stopped. The expression “the carrot and the stick” comes from this tale.

When asked about a possible timeline for this process – specifically, the 2030 deadline mentioned by European Council President Charles Michel earlier this year – the European Commission president sidestepped the issue.

“Since we say that EU membership is a process based primarily on merit, we should not focus on 2030. For some it may happen sooner or later,” von der Leyen told reporters.

Admitting Ukraine while it is still fighting Russia would mean bringing war into the EU, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in response to the Commission’s proposal. In Budapest’s assessment, Kiev “has not met the conditions set for membership,” and it would be “absurd” for Brussels to evaluate its progress while the conflict was ongoing, he added.

The EU would be better off focusing on the Western Balkans if it is interested in enlargement, Szijjarto argued. The bloc has not admitted any new members since Croatia joined in 2013.