Austria announces opposition to EU membership for Ukraine weeks after Putin meeting

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Austria’s foreign minister doesn’t consider Ukraine ought to receive European Union membership. 

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg spoke on the 14th European media summit this week, saying that Ukraine mustn’t obtain candidate standing in June. He reiterated Austria’s dedication to neutrality as a key ingredient of the nation’s “self-definition.” 

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“We don’t belong to any army alliance and we don’t need to,” he mentioned, however he highlighted the contributions Austria has made to Ukraine’s protection, including that E.U. membership and neutrality are “suitable.” 

Schallenberg repeated his stance to Austrian publication Heute, however went additional and mentioned Ukraine mustn’t, in precept, develop into a member even sooner or later. He known as for a “totally different method” for Ukraine to develop ties with Europe. 

His feedback comply with a meeting between Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 11, throughout which the 2 leaders held “direct, open and difficult” talks, in accordance to German outlet DW. 

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Nehammer raised the problem of conflict crimes in Bucha, and mentioned he got here away from the talks with “no optimistic impression.” 

Ukraine’s overseas ministry expressed disappointment with Austria’s stance, calling the Austrian official’s assertion “short-sighted” and “not within the pursuits of the united Europe.”

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“Such statements additionally ignore the truth that the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of the E.U. founding member states assist Ukraine’s membership,” mentioned Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko, including that suspending Ukraine’s membership means “indulging Putin’s aggressive plans.” 

But round 40% of Austrians take into account the federal government’s place on Ukraine as “on the entire appropriate,” whereas 23% consider the federal government is “too pro-Ukraine” and 17% “too pro-Russia,” in accordance to Heute. 

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