Russian President Vladimir Putin at the St Petersburg Economic Forum.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the St Petersburg Economic Forum.| Photo: Anatoly Maltsev/EFE

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he has nothing against Ukraine joining the European Union (EU), as it is not a military organization or a political-military bloc like NATO. “The EU is not a military organization or a political-military bloc, unlike NATO. We have always said, and I have always said, that our position is very consistent and clear in this regard. We have nothing against it,” said the Russian leader. at the St Petersburg Economic Forum.

Putin questioned, however, whether Ukraine could grow and restore a number of important industries just by joining the EU. “I don’t know if EU membership can give a new impetus to the development of key areas of Ukraine,” he declared. “It will receive a lot of support for current expenses. It is unlikely to lead to the restoration of the aeronautical industry, shipbuilding, electronics and other critical industries, because the European ‘giants’ will not create competitors for themselves,” he added.

The European Commission (EC) recommended on Friday that the EU give Ukraine a “European perspective” first and second, that it approve “candidate” status to join the bloc if the country carries out “significant reforms”. .