Espreso. Global

Ukraine deserves EU membership now - Viola von Cramon

5 December, 2023 Tuesday

MEP Viola von Cramon believes there is only one obstacle to opening EU membership talks with Ukraine, and that NATO should also provide Ukraine with tangible security guarantees

Viola von Cramon, a German politician and member of the European Parliament, shared her views on Ukraine's possible accession to the EU and NATO in an interview with Espreso TV. 

Speaking about the upcoming EU summit, scheduled for December 14 and 15, and whether the talks on Ukraine's accession may be postponed until March, the MEP said, “I would very much regret that. I think Ukraine has deserved it now, Ukrainian people, Ukrainian citizens have deserved this now. My colleagues, Ukrainian MPs, have worked on all the legislation, most of the reforms have been voted (for), have been ratified. So, Ukraine has followed all the recommendations set up by the EU Commission and it’s absolutely clear that the EU Commission gave green light and has recommended to the Council and to the European Parliament to start and to open the negotiation talks. So, for us, it is crystal clear. The majority of the Council would follow this line.” 

She mentioned that the only obstacle on the way to opening talks with Ukraine are the objections of the Hungarian Prime Minister Orban.

“There is just one spoiler, and this spoiler - Viktor Orban - tries to blackmail us, as he has done before. Orban plays on his national cards, he wants to unfreeze his own money because he has not implemented any reforms on jurisprudence, on domestics reforms, on media, on electoral reforms. That’s why we had to freeze his money. And he wants to unfreeze this money and uses the ‘Hungarian minority’ in Ukraine,” the MEP explained.

The MEP also shared her opinions regarding Ukraine’s potential accession to NATO, stating that there is no consensus among the NATO states.

“On one hand, it’s, again, Hungary and Turkey very much objecting this. But also I see that Chancellor and President Biden are not in favor. And that is the problem. So, they have founded now this NATO-Ukraine Council - it’s better than nothing - but it has no real impact and implication for the security. So, for the membership, we need more security guarantees, we need more commitments, we need to make sure that, in case there is a political will from Russia to start negotiations, there must be a plan, a concept which is accepted by the NATO states, how to give and how to provide security to Ukraine at that point. And something is on paper, but I don’t think there are any pledges from the different NATO members,” she shared.

Viola von Cramon emphasized the need for putting more political pressure to speed up the process, as Europe’s stability is jeopardized as long as there is no stability in Ukraine.

“And here I think we need more political pressure, from different political actors, of course from Ukraine, but also from civil society in our countries. The problem is that people still don’t understand if there is no peace and stability in Ukraine, it will also threaten our security in Europe. If Ukraine will not succeed, this will backfire also towards us. The next will be Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Baltic states, we don’t know. But Russia will be encouraged, will be emboldened if Ukraine does not defeat Russia,” she stressed.

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