Granting Ukraine, Moldova EU candidate status needs Russia’s attention: Kremlin


Granting EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova needs Russia’s increased attention amid the EU plans to strengthen its military and defense sectors, the Kremlin spokesman said on Friday.

Speaking at a press briefing in Saint Petersburg, Dmitry Peskov added that a lot of transformations are currently taking place in the EU that need attention.

“This (granting a candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova) requires our increased attention because we all know about the intensification of discussions in Europe on strengthening the defense component of the European Union — the military, defense, and security components,” he said.

Referring to the Russia-Ukraine peace talks, Peskov said Kyiv has been “out of touch” on this topic since April and that Moscow urged the EU leaders to persuade Ukrainian authorities to return to the negotiating table.

“Russia is open to the negotiation process, (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin is open to the negotiation process. Our position is well known, it has been put on paper and handed over to Ukrainians,” he stressed.

The spokesman confirmed that there are “certain contacts” with Kyiv about grain export, although Ukraine’s position is not clear.

“Certain contacts are being held there. There is still a lot of ambiguity with the position of the Ukrainian side. That’s all I can say right now,” he noted.

The European Commission on Friday recommended candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova.

Only four days after the Russia-Ukraine war started on Feb. 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy officially signed his country’s request to join the EU.

Inspired by Ukraine’s request, Georgia and Moldova also presented their EU membership applications on March 3.

The European Commission delivered its assessment of EU candidacy at an unprecedented speed because of the war in Ukraine.

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