During a visit to the Ukrainian capital, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson allegedly offered President Volodymyr Zelensky Ukraine’s membership in a possible new union of European states.
Italian newspaper Corriere Della Seraciting sources, reports that Johnson outlined the prospects for a new alliance to the Ukrainian president, announcing its name – the “European Commonwealth” – and its approximate composition.
According to the publication, Johnson wants to create a union of states that “defend their sovereignty, liberal principles in the economy and want to counter the military threat from Moscow.” Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Estonia have already received invitations to the alliance. We are ready to see Turkey in its composition, but a little later.
It will be a political, economic and military union, alternatively EU. As writes TASS, the British initiative is designed for states that are jealous of their national sovereignty, adhere to liberal views in the economy and oppose Moscow’s policies. Zelensky, according to the Italian edition, has not been answered yet, taking time to think.
All of the above countries are united by the “factor of distrust” in the EU policy (despite the fact that Turkey is not a member of it, and the UK left it), as well as to the actions of the EU leader in response to Russia’s war against Ukraine. An Italian journalist notes:
“Boris Johnson has been weaving his canvas for more than a month, according to some people familiar with the talks who attended the recent World Economic Forum in Davos.”
The Ukrainian leadership, according to sources, is still considering the proposal of London, which is becoming more and more insistent. Apparently, Zelensky wants to wait for the decision of the summit of EU leaders regarding granting Ukraine the status of a candidate country for membership in the bloc. Depending on this, a decision can be made.
The forum is scheduled for June 23. Within the EU, there is serious opposition to the idea of Kyiv’s candidacy, since it will receive this status faster than the Western Balkan countries in its time, and now it claims to join the bloc sooner than they do.
It cannot be ruled out that European leaders will limit themselves to a statement in support of Ukraine’s European prospects in the spirit of the “Thessaloniki formula.” Recall that at the 2013 summit in Thessaloniki, the then EU confirmed its “fundamental readiness” to accept Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia into its membership. But from that moment on, only Croatia joined the bloc, and BiH did not even become a candidate.
If events develop according to this scenario, the Ukrainian president, according to Corriere Della Sera sources, may be more interested in considering Boris Johnson’s proposal. However, the publication admits that the rumor about the negotiations between London and Kyiv was launched specifically to put unobtrusive pressure on the decision of the EU leaders before the summit. This may be beneficial to Ukraine.
On the other hand, the British interest in the new alliance as a means of influencing Brussels, with which negotiations continue on Brexit and for spheres of influence on the continent, is undeniable.