There are worries that Ukraine’s integration towards the European Union can further irritate Russian president Vladimir Putin. Member of European Parliament, Member of the European Parliament Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee Andrius Kubilius expressed such an opinion in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
“I agree that it can make Putin more angry, and I see that from recent articles of Mr. Medvedev [ex-president of the Russian Federation Dmitri Medvedev]. But that means that they are becoming afraid in the Kremlin of success of Ukraine. That is really important for all of us to understand,” the MEP underscored.
He also admitted that “Russia is a factor” of the EU’s insufficient readiness to accept Ukraine as its member.
“Some people in big capitals are saying, ‘We cannot offer Ukraine more ambitious integration agenda even towards the EU because that can provoke Putin.’ We are saying the opposite – that if we in Europe want to have clear strategy towards Russia with very clear goals – how to assist not Putin, but how to assist Russian society with transformation of that country back to democracy then we need to understand that the example of the success of Ukraine is one of the instruments which the EU has in its hands in order to assist also Russia,” Kubilius explained.
According to him, success of Ukraine can be created only through integration of Ukraine towards Europe. That is why in a recent report by the European Parliament on the EU’s policy towards Russia, MEPs clearly said that one of the elements of the strategy towards Russia should be the integration of the Eastern Partnership countries, especially Ukraine, with the EU.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov accused Ukraine of trying to “drag Russia into violence” in Donbas.
The Russian minister accused Ukraine of using the Bayraktar combat drone in violation of the Minsk agreements and also complained that the Ukrainian military had been allowed to fire back in response to the Russian occupiers’ attacks in Donbas without the consent of senior leadership.
Lavrov also rejected accusations by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, who had repeatedly stated that Russia avoided Normandy format meetings. According to Lavrov, Russia does not need a meeting for the sake of a meeting.