The Pres. of the European Commission has stated that Ukraine belongs to the European Union and that, “in time”, the bloc “would like them in.”
“We have an ongoing process with Ukraine that is, for instance, integrating the Ukrainian markets into the Single Market; we have a very close cooperation status on the energy grid, for instance,” says Pres. Ursula von der Leyen, who has previously held a controversial defense minister spot in the government of Germany’s Angela Merkel, in his comments to the European Union-funded Euro news organization.
“So, there are a lot of topics where we are continuing to work very closely with one another on and indeed in time, they do belong to the European Union. Ukraine is one of us and we do want them in,” she said.
The efforts of the European Union to add Ukraine into its orbit were the main source of tension between the west and Russia ahead of the Euromaidan coup that was staged against the former Ukrainian pres. Viktor Yanukovych back in 2014.
Yanukovych, who had looked to the eastern region of Ukraine which has become home to a large pro-Russia separatist movement during the wake of the Maidan, was toppled after they rejected a European Union Association Agreement in favor of a Russian deal which has proved unpopular in the nation’s west.
While in the beginning the Euromaidan was looked at as something of a win by the European Union, whose then-High Representative for Security Policy and Foreign Affairs, Baroness Catherine ‘Cathy’ Ashton, had went to the demonstrations in the city of Kyiv (Kiev), the bloc had been left flatfooted when Russia had not only refused to take in the Maidan government but also annexed the Crimea, where the regional government had also rejected the newer order, and backed the separatist uprising within Donbas — an outcome which has arguably precipitated the broader war Ukraine is now stuck in.
Ukraine’s current president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has for his part asked Brussels to grant his nation a full European Union membership in response to the crisis that is currently taking place.