EU Could Fall Apart Before Ukraine Joins, Medvedev Says
09:05 GMT 19.06.2022 (Updated: 10:05 GMT 19.06.2022)
The European Commission formally recommended making Ukraine a candidate for European Union membership on Friday following a fast-track review of Kiev's answers to a questionnaire, filled out earlier this year. Ukraine's 'European aspirations' lie at the heart of the crisis which overwhelmed the country in 2014.
The real time frame for Ukraine's possible entry into the EU is the 2050s, and the economic and political bloc could break up before then, former Russian president and prime minister Dmitry Medvedev believes.
"We, the children of the 1970s, all waited for the onset of communism. Alas, it did not happen. The Soviet Union collapsed, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was liquidated," Medvedev, who joined the party in university and left in 1991, wrote
on his Telegram page on Sunday. "The situation related to the promised onset of global happiness in the USSR reminds me of the incantations made by the European Commission regarding Ukraine's EU candidacy."
"They have been promised. Exactly, promised. And the promise was made only to [Ukraine], and not even Georgia (I would be offended in their place, not even mentioning Turkey)," Medvedev added, recalling Ankara's application to become a member of the European Economic Community - the EU's predecessor, all the way back in 1987.
"They promised, but with conditions. Ukraine is supposed to become better, cleaner, less corrupt, more developed, enlightened, smarter. [EC chief] Aunt Usrula [von der Leyen] even said that Ukrainians are dying for EU membership," the former president, who now serves as deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, wrote.
"After that it will be like with the construction of communism. The date hasn't been set after all. But there are many unverifiable, abstract conditions. Their objective verification is impossible. They will be checked for decades, and by new generations of EU leaders. Therefore, the real term is the middle of the century, not earlier," Medvedev wrote.
In the meantime, he suggested, the fate of the USSR could also befall the EU.
"It's possible that communism could have arrived by now had the USSR been preserved. But the union, unfortunately, died. Do you understand what I'm hinting at? P.S. Perhaps (knock on wood) the EU disappears by this time? It's frightening to think what a scandal this would be, given the sacrifices that have been made on the altar of joining the EU, and what a deception it would be of the expectations of the unfortunate Ukrainians," Medvedev concluded.
During his presidency and much of his premiership, Dmitry Medvedev was one of the biggest proponents of improving Russia's relations with the West, adopting Western standards in education, the judicial system, business, industry, etc, and was seen by political observers as
the leader of the liberal wing of the ruling United Russia party. However, with the onset of the Ukrainian crisis, his public positions have gradually shifted toward open hostility to the West. Earlier this month, after his son's US visa was revoked, an angry Medvedev took to Telegram to write that he "hated" Western officials, calling them "bastards and degenerates," and promising to "do [his] best to make them disappear."
The European Union's executive arm formally recommended
that Ukraine be given candidate status in the bloc on Friday, notwithstanding outstanding concerns
about corruption, rule of law, governance, democracy, the outsized influence of the ultra-wealthy in the economy and politics, widespread poverty, nationalism and the current military crisis with Russia.
"We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us for the European dream," EC president von der Leyen said, donning an ensemble bearing Ukraine's national colours during her appeal Friday.
Ukraine officially applied for EU candidate status in February.
The European aspirations of the pro-Western portion of Ukraine's political and economic elites lies at the heart of the crisis which has faced the country for over eight years. In February 2014, the country's government was overthrown in a US-backed coup after it attempted to back out of an EU association agreement in favour of closer relations with the Russia-led Eurasian Customs Union (now the Eurasian Economic Union). The coup prompted Crimea to break off from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, and sparked a civil war in the country's eastern Donbass region. In February 2022, after nearly eight years of conflict and footdragging by Kiev in peace talks, Moscow recognized the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics as independent , sovereign states. Days later, Russia and its Donbass allies began a special operation in Ukraine to demilitarize the country.