Putin uncorks the champagne


This article was last updated on June 23, 2022

“Putin uncorks the champagne with a ‘no,'” says Ukraine’s minister.

If European leaders fail to agree on Ukraine’s candidacy for membership today, Russian President Vladimir Putin will pop the cork on a bottle of champagne. This is what Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Nieuwsuur in an interview.

Although it looks from all the signals we receive that we may expect an easy clearance, Kuleba says, “Of course I keep my fingers crossed.” It would be a mistake if Europe didn’t allow Ukraine to become a candidate country today.

Today, EU leaders are gathering in Brussels to discuss Ukraine’s request. In order to become a full member of an organization, a country must first be accepted as a candidate for membership.


Because of the country’s well-documented corruption, the Netherlands was viewed with suspicion for a long time. Though cautious at first, the cabinet has now jumped in and is supporting the proposal. According to Kuleba, the Netherlands’ attitude “is symptomatic for many Member States, and it is excellent that the Netherlands is on the correct side of history today.”

The minister credited “the miracle of diplomacy” for the Netherlands’ capitulation. As well as the fact that Germany opted to support the application towards the end. As Chancellor Olaf Scholz supported us, it was really a positive development.

Corruption and the rule of law are two areas where Ukraine has to make progress before formal EU membership discussions can begin. We were already on the path to meet these requirements, adds Kuleba.


He denies that Ukraine’s government is rife with corruption. “It’s just not there. None of Ukraine’s top officials are involved in corruption that might threaten the country’s political stability. The fact that corruption exists does not imply I’m denying it. According to my argument, Ukraine’s corruption problem is overblown.

With the proposal being approved, Ukraine will send a message to Putin that the country takes its security seriously. It is a fact that Ukraine is a member of the European Union. Putin will have to consider this while making strategic decisions and determining how long he can continue fighting. Today, he loses Ukraine, and that should be written down.”

Does Ukraine not fear a more forceful Russian approach in the future? “Is there anything worse that might happen? “Let’s not do it because it will exacerbate the problem,” some European leaders have said in the past. What did it accomplish for us? When Russian missiles struck Kiev and other Ukrainian cities on February 24, a large-scale invasion occurred,”


Even additional pressure on Russia is being sought, according to the ministry. Putin is now employing gas as a weapon,” one observer said. The goal is to let everyone understand how terrible it is to be at conflict with Russia. As long as Putin is successful in his aggressiveness, other international actors – those who do not belong to the democratic camp, for example – will follow his lead.

The value of togetherness is emphasized by Kuleba throughout his work. As a matter of fact, we’re all in this together. When it comes to arming our nation, enforcing sanctions, and applying political pressure to Russia, we must act as one.

At least that’s what Kuleba claims. “We’ve shown Russia that we can beat them. We’re up to the task. Despite the economic pressure that Putin has put on the EU, we in Ukraine are engaged in a genuine conflict. Our true sacrifices are here.

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