The country should ‘recognize reality’ and start developing in its own direction, Aleksey Arestovich has argued
Kiev should “stop humiliating itself” and end the “illusion” that it will soon join the EU and NATO, Aleksey Arestovich has said.
President Vladimir Zelensky’s former aide made the remarks during a joint broadcast with journalist Yulia Latynina on Friday, in which he commented on the EU Council’s decision in mid-December to begin negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the bloc.
“No matter how much we want to join NATO and the EU – we are not welcome there,” he said.
Arestovich observed that the price for even the “possibility” of Ukraine joining NATO was the start of “a big war with Russia,” adding that the same applied to other Western nations as well. The West is “not ready to pay this price,” he said.
Ukraine’s goal of “joining a big union” is “unfeasible” and the only way out of this situation is to “stop humiliating itself,” so that foreign and domestic policy issues will be handled in Kiev, “not in Brussels, Washington or Moscow,” Arestovich said.
Kiev should therefore “recognize reality” and begin to develop in its own direction, instead of pursuing the “illusion” of reclaiming its 1991 borders and entering the EU and NATO, he argued. He also cited Türkiye, Azerbaijan, Israel, and South Korea as examples of states that are not members of these unions and are “doing quite well.”
The decision to open formal negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU was taken on December 15 by 26 of the bloc’s 27 member states. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been one of the main opponents of Kiev’s entry into the bloc, said his country “does not want to participate in this bad decision” and left the room when the vote was taken.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky announced in September 2022 that he was accelerating his country’s application to join NATO, claiming that “de facto we have already made our way into NATO” and that the request was made “to make it de jure.”
US President Joe Biden has previously poured cold water on the idea, however, telling CNN in July 2023 that hostilities between Kiev and Moscow needed to end before the application to join the bloc could be considered. In November of the same year, Zelensky admitted that he did not know whether Ukraine would join NATO or not.
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