Austrian Chancellor urged to introduce an intermediate stage of Ukraine’s accession to the EU

According to Karl Nehammer, the issue of Ukraine's full membership in the EU is not relevant now, but Kyiv and the EU need to work on strengthening cooperation within the “preparatory zone”

Karl Nehammer

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has called for an intermediate stage in the process of granting Ukraine and Moldova membership in the European Union, reports the newspaper Kronen Zeitung.

“Ukraine is currently fighting for its political and territorial survival. All our efforts are primarily aimed at stopping [the special operation]. At such a stage, rapid full accession to the European Union cannot be a relevant issue in any case, — noted Nehammer.

According to the chancellor, the EU should create a “European preparatory zone” through which potential members of the union will strengthen cooperation with it and adapt to its standards. Nehammer pointed out that a similar path was taken by Austria, which, before becoming a full member of the EU in 1995, cooperated with the union in the framework of free trade agreements.

The chancellor said he supported French leader Emmanuel Macron's idea of ​​creating a “European political community”. The President of France pointed out in early May that “the process of [Ukraine's] accession to the EU may take many years and even several decades,” but the European Union “cannot be the only means of structuring the European continent,” and a “European political community” can be created. , which will include Ukraine.

Nehammer noted that not enough attention is now paid to “practical” issues that “ensure close links with the EU”. He pointed out that it is necessary to develop cooperation in the areas of trade, energy and climate policy, transport, science and education, food security, common foreign policy, security and defense policy. The chancellor admitted that cooperation with Ukraine could be similar to a partnership within the European Free Trade Association, which includes non-EU members Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway.

Ukraine applied for EU membership on 28 February. On April 8, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, during a visit to Kyiv, handed over to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a questionnaire, which is mandatory for granting the country candidate status for joining the European Union.

Read on RBC Pro Pro Music, dancing, tongue twisters: what will help improve brain function the market in new realities: what to expect from gasoline prices Articles Pro How to work less and increase productivity: 4 tips Articles Pro Does music really help you relax and focus? already handed over the completed questionnaire to the European Union, on May 16, the European Commission (EC) announced that it had received Ukraine's answers and was preparing its opinion on the application. The EC promised to expedite the process of considering it and granting Ukraine the status of a candidate, it was allowed to resolve this issue in the summer. Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna noted that Kyiv expects to receive the status of a candidate for the union in June.

Russia considers Ukraine's early entry into the EU unlikely. Thus, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, noted on this issue: “Promise”; doesn't mean getting married. In the outdated — get married».

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