Russian PM uses Turkey joke to downplay Ukraine’s EU chances
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Ukraine and Turkey have little to no chance of joining the European Union. AFP PhotoBoth Ukraine and Turkey have little to no chance of joining the European Union, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said, in a joke that laid bare the tough road both countries would need to follow to join the 28-member bloc.
“No one is hurrying to invite Ukraine to the common European table as an equal partner. They aren’t even offering a side chair; they are deliberately putting this country in a position of a girl who goes on dates that never end in marriage. It is sufficient to have a look at Turkey – this country signed the association agreement 51 years ago and it’s still not an EU member,” the Russian prime minister said, in an article penned for Russian daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta.
Medvedev also recalled a joke by former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, who was once asked by a reporter when Ukraine could become an EU member.
“Right after Turkey,” Chernomyrdin answered quickly. “When should we expect Turkey’s membership?” pressed the reporter. “Never!” quipped Chernomyrdin, according to Medvedev's Dec. 15 article.
Medvedev also claimed that moving closer to the European Union offered no panacea for Ukraine’s financial problems and would mean big losses in economic ties with Moscow. He added that Moscow had for many years provided "generous terms" in deals with Kyiv that helped build up Ukraine’s economy, but the relationship would from now on be based on purely “rational and pragmatic” terms that put Russian interests first.
“We will no longer support the Ukrainian economy. It is a burden for us and to be honest, we are tired of it,” Medvedev wrote.