Brussels is treating Kiev like a donkey chasing a carrot, Dmitry Peskov has said
The EU announcement that it should begin negotiations with Ukraine on eventual membership is like an old farmer’s trick to manage an unruly beast of burden, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.
“We are talking about a carrot that is tied [to a stick] in front of the cart,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman told journalist Pavel Zarubin. “These promises are unlikely to be real.”
Peskov was referring to the folk story of a farmer who motivated his donkey by dangling a treat just ahead of the cart that the beast was pulling. The donkey would keep chasing the carrot, but could never catch it – and in some versions of the story, would get beaten with the stick if it stopped. The expression “the carrot and the stick” also comes from this tale.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday that she had recommended launching the membership talks with Ukraine and Moldova – once the two countries have implemented the reforms required by Brussels, that is.
When asked about a possible timeline for this process – specifically, the 2030 deadline mentioned by European Council President Charles Michel earlier this year – the German politician sidestepped the issue.
“Since we say that EU membership is a process based primarily on merit, we should not focus on 2030. For some it may happen sooner or later,” von der Leyen told reporters.
Admitting Ukraine while it is still fighting against Russia would mean bringing war into the EU, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in response to the Commission’s proposal. In Budapest’s assessment, Kiev “has not met the conditions set for membership,” and it would be “absurd” for Brussels to evaluate its progress while the conflict was ongoing, he added.
The weakened EU would be far better off focusing on the Western Balkans if it is really interested in enlargement, Szijjarto noted. The bloc has not admitted any new members since Croatia joined in 2013.
November 10, 2023 at 04:33AM