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Expert calls out Ukraine-Moldova candidate status as 'purely political’ EU move

The Ukrainian leadership has too many defeats on the military and economic fronts, and it was necessary to give them something positive, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries Vladimir Zharikhin noted

MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. Granting Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidate for EU membership has a purely propagandistic nature, there is no real economic basis behind this step, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries Vladimir Zharikhin told TASS on Friday.

According to him, the decision adopted at the EU summit on Thursday is just "a beautiful badge on the chest with the label ‘EU candidate’." "As for the real economic relations, the interaction of Ukraine and Moldova with the EU countries until the accession to the European Union <…> will be determined by the EU agreement, under which these countries have been living for many years and have not received any special benefits, and in some positions even lost", the expert noted. Thus, under the bloc’s agreement, customs duties were removed, but quotas on the volume of exports were introduced, which in fact worsened the export-import balance with Europe, Zharikhin believes.

The political scientist is sure that the decision is purely political and serves only to support Kiev. "This is done primarily for Ukraine," he pointed out, "The country's leadership has too many defeats on the military and economic fronts. It was necessary to give them something positive, so that they - as it was during the signing of the EU agreement - could blatantly falsify the real data, claiming some benefits that in fact do not exist."

In reality, according to the expert, both Ukraine and Moldova are very far from the criteria for joining the EU. Moreover, Western Europe is not interested in such an expansion of the EU, Zharikhin stressed. "Western European countries, especially France and Germany, are not interested in Ukraine and Moldova joining the EU because then the power balance in the union will shift to Eastern Europe and Poland will claim leadership, which is not in their interests," he explained.

The expert stressed that there are no objective criteria for EU membership and therefore one can postpone accession to the Union as long as they want, as it is occurring with a number of other countries.

"The decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status for EU membership is a purely political move. This is a PR campaign, which offers nothing to the Ukrainian economy. The criteria for joining the EU are vague and cannot be measured by objective parameters. For example, how would you measure the degree of corruption? Or the degree of reforms? These parameters cannot be measured. And that is why for political reasons it is possible that Ukraine will sit alongside Turkey, still waiting with its candidate status for almost a quarter of a century, and Northern Macedonia, Albania and Serbia," the political scientist believes.