EU shouldn't favor Ukraine over Balkan countries in its accession decision - Austrian Foreign Ministry
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg says that EU countries should not privilege Ukraine over the Western Balkans in their decision on accession
European Pravda reports this with reference to the Financial Times.
It is noted that the Austrian minister said that it is necessary to consolidate Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the EU orbit to resist Russian influence. He added that strengthening stability in Eastern and Southeastern Europe is equally important.
Schallenberg noted that it would be a "geostrategic disaster" if the European Commission looked at the Western Balkans "under a magnifying glass and with pink glasses on Ukraine."
Asked whether Austria would consider vetoing the start of Ukraine's EU accession talks if Bosnia did not also give its approval, Prime Minister Schallenberg said that the talks "are already moving in the right direction."
"But... let's not create a problem in a region that has been waiting for 20 years and create another barrier for them. As (Albanian Prime Minister) Edi Rama said, if I quoted him correctly, should we start a war in the Balkans to get your attention?" - the minister said.
The European Commission considers only four of the seven criteria that followed the granting of Ukraine's candidate status to join the European Union to be fully met. In particular, further strengthening of the fight against corruption is not considered to be fully completed. The European Commission's document states that "Ukraine should enact a law to increase the staff the NABU and remove from the law on corruption prevention the provisions restricting the NACP’s powers to continued verification of assets that have already undergone the verification process and limiting NACP’s powers to verify property acquired by declarants before joining the public service."