Kiev is “disappointed” by the “short-sighted” statements of Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg who suggested that full EU membership might not be the best option for Ukraine.
On Saturday, Schallenberg, while admitting that deepening ties with Ukraine is necessary as the EU is exporting the “Western way of life,” said that models other than full EU membership should be considered for Ukraine. He mentioned joining the European Economic Area or an association agreement as among the options.
Reacting to these comments, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko released a strong-worded statement on Sunday.
“We are disappointed by the remarks of the Austrian Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs about the European future of Ukraine. We consider them to be strategically short-sighted and not in the interests of a united Europe,” Nikolenko said, adding that Schallenberg ignores the positive view of “the vast majority” of the populations of the EU’s founding members toward Ukrainian membership.