Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged not to keep Ukraine on the "reform hook" and to admit that Ukraine is not accepted into the EU not because it is not ready in terms of reforms, but because the EU is not politically ready for this.
"North Macedonia cannot enter the EU, not because it lacks reforms, but because there are political issues around it. I am not asking for an exception for Ukraine. What I propose, and never complain, is to admit a simple fact, that admission to the EU is not only about reforms, and the political decision of the EU member states to admit another country is not only based on reforms. Stop keeping this country on the reform hook. Reforms are important, I myself support reforms and do my best to help for this country to transform, but I am tired of seeing other countries instructing us on reforms, without telling the truth that we do not want you in the EU because we are not politically ready, not because you are not ready in terms of reforms," Kuleba said at the YES Brainstorming conference in Kyiv on Saturday.
The minister also said that reforms are necessary for the sake of Ukraine itself, and they will continue.
"Nobody says that this country has no problems, but I want to ask one simple question: were all countries admitted to the EU only after they completed all their reforms and met all the Copenhagen criteria?" Kuleba said.
He said that in order to "play for the high stakes" in the global struggle, Europe needs to become bigger and stronger.
"And Ukraine is an acquisition, it is not a problem, it is an opportunity," Kuleba said.
He called on the EU to talk honestly about the prospects for Ukraine's membership in the EU.
"Tell us the truth, we are at the point where we need to know. If you see us as a possible member, this is one strategy, if not, we will have a different strategy. But we need an honest conversation with the EU, an honest response from the EU," the Foreign Minister said.
YES Brainstorming is organized by the Yalta European Strategy (YES) and Victor Pinchuk Foundation.