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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday lamented the lack of concreteness of the promise of his country’s entry into the European Union (EU) and warned that they cannot be in uncertainty permanently.
“Ukraine is a full-fledged European country, which respects the countries of the Union and wants the same respect. Welcoming Ukraine into a European political community and at the same time keeping it at a distance is like being invited to a family dinner but not having a chair,” he said in a telematic intervention before students of the Sciences Po University in Paris.
The president stressed in that telematic meeting that Ukraine cannot be accepted into the EU and at the same time not included: “We cannot be in a continuous uncertainty. It is like a couple who have been living together for years, one of them promises the other that they will get married. All that is nothing more than a promise, and uncertainty sets in.”
Zelensky also charged about his country’s entry into NATO, saying he was convinced that if it had been part of the Atlantic alliance before the start of the Russian invasion, launched on February 24, there would have been no war.
“It was a mistake that NATO did not make room for Ukraine earlier,” he said.
In his opinion, the entry of his country would benefit and strengthen the rest, because its army has already demonstrated its capacity in this war.
The Ukrainian head of state made it clear that this conflict will only end when “Ukraine recovers what is its own, its territory,” and pointed out that there is no parallel between his country and Russia: “Russia has launched a war against Ukraine in a very concrete way and we are acting in response.”
In his opinion, “with each new Bucha, with each new Mariupol and each new atrocity,” referring to those cities devastated by the Russian Army, “the will and the possibility to negotiate and reach a solution in a diplomatic way decreases”.
Zelensky, who answered questions from the students, stressed that Russia must be brought to the negotiating table and made to understand that “punishment is inevitable” and that everything it is doing “will lead to a catastrophic future” for that country.
He called for preventive sanctions to deter Russia from the eventual use of its nuclear weaponry and stressed that the wave of displaced Ukrainians to the rest of Europe is temporary because “95%” of those people want to return home as soon as possible.
“It is not a question of patriotism. It is a question of love for their men and husbands. The men have stayed in Ukraine and the women and children have left. They are temporarily displaced people. The EU should not be afraid of a big wave of permanent immigration,” the president concluded.