I want Ukraine to become a member of the EU, but the condition is compliance with the Copenhagen criteria

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Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid supports Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, but the condition is that the Ukrainian side fulfills the Copenhagen criteria.

At the YES Brainstorming conference in Kiev on Saturday, Kaljulaid said he was sorry because he deeply wished Ukraine would one day be part of the EU. He said he really hopes that when the window of opportunity opens in the future, Ukraine will be ready to go through that window. But the Copenhagen criteria are a prerequisite. Ukraine cannot start filling them when the window of opportunity opens, it will be too late. If it opens at 9:00 a.m., it closes at 10:15 a.m. This is what our history has taught us, according to Kaljulaid.

The President said that in the five years she was in power, Ukraine had not made progress according to the Copenhagen criteria.

Kaljulaid said all future assumptions are based on past experiences. As President of Estonia, she had to solve the problems of Estonian businesses in Ukraine. For example, an Estonian company had even been the subject of international arbitration to return the company to its rightful owners. This lasted for five years while she was President of Estonia and there was no progress.

She said she wanted full EU membership for Ukraine.

However, she said she knew this could only happen with conditions. She said she was by no means one of those who say ‘it will never happen, you just have to make an interim decision’.

Kaljulaid also regretted that even when the conditions were met, the EU delayed the start of membership talks with some countries.

She said that this means that it strengthens Ukraine’s position in negotiations with the EU, not meeting these criteria, which are the basis of the EU.

YES Brainstorming is organized by the Yalta European Strategy (YES) and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.


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