Putin says he has nothing against Ukraine joining the European Union | World

The leader argued that his position is consistent and coherent, since the EU, unlike the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), is not a political-military bloc.

“It is the sovereign decision of any country whether or not to join economic associations, and it is up to the European Union whether or not to accept new states as its members. Whether it will be for Ukraine’s benefit or harm is their problem,” Putin said during a panel discussion at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The Russian president also said that “sooner or later, the situation in Ukraine will return to normal.” The two countries have been at war for over 100 days.

“I want it to be clear, the restoration of relations is inevitable,” he said.

European Commission issues favorable opinion on Ukraine’s entry into the EU

The European Commission, an independent body representing the interests of the European Union, issued a favorable opinion on Friday for Ukraine’s entry into the bloc. It is an important step for the country to be accepted in the group.

The process will go ahead if the 27 EU members agree to the decision. (see video below).

European Union recommends Ukraine's candidacy to the bloc

European Union recommends Ukraine’s candidacy to the bloc

This Commission statement was published a day after leaders of the bloc’s main powers visited Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in a clear show of support for the country.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis pose for a photo in Kiev. — Photo: Ludovic Marin/REUTERS

Emmanuel Macron, President of France, and the heads of government of Germany, Olaf Scholz, and Italy, Mario Draghi, arrived in the city by train, in their first trip to Ukraine since the beginning of the war, on 24 February. They immediately went to Irpin and met with the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis.

“All four of us support Ukraine’s immediate candidate status” for membership of the bloc, Macron told a news conference with his three colleagues.

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