Lavrov: Moldova Has Demonstrated Its “Democracy” to the EU

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The Russian Foreign Minister has commented on statements by European leaders about Moldova’s and Ukraine’s membership in the EU. The intensified discussion by European representatives of possible EU membership is a “game”, Lavrov said. According to him, the main part of statements about Ukraine’s membership in the EU is made by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who admits that Kyiv has not fulfilled even half of the criteria for accession. In response, according to Lavrov, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says their country should be incorporated without conditions. “It is hard for me to perceive it. It seems to be a game, a continuation of the line that the EU used after the collapse of the Soviet Union,” the head of the Russian ministry stressed. In addition, Lavrov pointed out that during the collapse of the Soviet Union "all criteria were disregarded” too. “Exclusively political expediency was at the heart of the decisions taken on the accession of the Baltic States to the EU. There was no absolute fulfilment of the conditions. I will not be surprised by anything,” he noted. Lavrov also added that there was a scandal in the EU when the “anti-minority law” was adopted in Ukraine. At the same time, according to minister, Ukraine decided afterwards to declare that it did not belong to the “languages of association”. “We spoke to EU members who have compatriots living in Ukraine and expressed the hope that they would fight for the exemption not only for their cultures, but also to defend the principles of international law of ethnic minorities. So far, we do not see this,” the Russian Foreign Minister added. In addition, the need to join anti-Russian sanctions and reject Kosovo as EU conditions for the start of negotiations on Serbia’s membership in the union, the minister called “a geopolitical exercise.” “Ankara seems to have decided that it no longer wants to engage in a futile and useless endeavor, while Belgrade confirms its aspirations for the EU. Recently, they asked not to forget about them when EU negotiates with Ukraine and Moldova,” Lavrov concluded. “Brussels response: ‘Firstly, you have to join the anti-Russian sanctions.’ That’s the whole economic union. Now it’s a purely geopolitical exercise: give up Kosovo, support sanctions against Russia, then we’ll see,” Lavrov commented. Lavrov said that Moldova, which also intends to join the EU in the near future, withdrew an entire party from local elections and closed a dozen print media outlets, thus demonstrating its “democracy”.