BRUSSELS, February 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Only steadfast Euro-optimists would reach the conclusion that Ukraine would join the European Union, Russian Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
His comment assessed news from Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski that the bloc had opened membership prospects for Russia's neighbor.
This referred to wording of a Foreign Affairs Council document adopted on February 10 saying the Council of the European Union was confident the EU association agreement was not the final goal of EU-Ukraine relations.
“This phrase has really attracted attention," Chizhov said. "The European Union promises much to Ukraine and this vague wording surely gives some hints at a bright future as member of the EU.” The formulation said nothing completely new as the EU’s initial view was that any European state had a right to claim membership in the EU, he added.
Chizhov said pledges to promote reform and to support Ukraine were “pegged to formation of a new government in Ukraine, which is in fact a new proviso on the part of the European Union”. If there was anything officials in Brussels did not promise, it was money, he added.
“Obviously this issue was also under consideration though the document only vaguely dwells upon how the EU is going to closely co-operate with the IMF (International Monetary Fund),” Chizhov said. “But the IMF’s demands are well known, at least for those who read, not those who demonstrate,” and these are an incomes freeze, pension reductions and others, he added.