At the moment, as Russia waged conflict on Ukraine, the European Union has risen to the event and mobilized to help the Ukrainian folks. Ukraine has built-in the European Union as by no means earlier than, giving it a renewed sense of goal.
This vigorous EU response is fully applicable as a result of Putin’s conflict is a direct assault on the European selection of Ukraine and the values that the EU has lengthy claimed to champion. Europe should now seize the historic second and acknowledge that the final word response to Russian rebel aggression is EU membership for Ukraine.
One of the best ways to grasp EU-Ukraine relations with out an in-depth investigation of Ukraine’s 1000-year historical past is to take a look at the pivotal days of the top of November 2013. Ukraine was on the verge of signing a much-awaited affiliation settlement. With the European Union, Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich out of the blue made a dramatic U-turn below excessive stress from the Kremlin.
Yanukovich’s try to abandon European integration and switch the nation over to Russia sparked huge protests throughout Ukraine. The motion was referred to by many because the “Euromaidan Revolution” in reference to the European selection of Ukraine and the central class (“grounds”) in Kiev, which served as the point of interest of the protest.
Regardless of the present risk of violence from gangs of presidency thugs and riot police, thousands and thousands of Ukrainians participated within the revolution, standing for months in sub-zero winter temperatures. The confrontation reached a bloody climax in late February 2014, with dozens of protesters being killed in central Kyiv. After the bloodbath, Yanukovych’s remaining allies deserted him and he fled to Russia.
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Ukrainians of their thousands and thousands risked their private security and financial safety to hitch the Euromaidan protest as a result of they believed within the civilizational selection of a European future nation. Eight years later, he’s as soon as once more displaying unimaginable bravery and giving his life in protection of the identical European values that propelled the 2014 revolution.
Ukrainians who’re at present defending their nation towards Putin’s conflict of destruction embody the core European values of peace, dignity, tolerance and human rights. They’re exhibiting a willingness to battle for these values which might be resonating with audiences elsewhere in Europe who’ve come to select up on issues like this and at the moment are being reminded that freedom just isn’t free.
In 2019, Ukraine enshrined its dedication to EU membership within the nation’s structure. This nationwide purpose was reiterated within the first days of the present conflict when President Zelensky signed Ukraine’s official utility for EU membership. The applying has since acquired great help from the European Parliament.
The time has come for Brussels to brazenly settle for Ukraine’s bid for membership. Whereas EU leaders have just lately spoken encouragingly about Ukraine’s place throughout the “European household”, the response to Ukrainian requires fast-track membership in the course of the March 10 EU summit in Versailles has been disappointing. was heavier than
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The way forward for the European Union is dependent upon its readiness to behave in response to the precept that any European nation that shares European values can grow to be a part of the European Union. Persevering with the stall on Ukrainian membership would signify a victory for Putin’s use of navy drive that might solely encourage additional acts of aggression alongside the japanese facet of the European Union and in different European areas such because the Balkans.
Appeasement insurance policies have clearly failed. European leaders should now let go of their earlier concern of scary Putin and actively pursue Ukrainian integration. As the present conflict has made clear, nothing is extra stimulating to Putin than the geopolitical isolation of Ukraine.
The European Union is strengthened as we speak due to the elevated unity generated by the opposition to the conflict in Ukraine. The braveness and willpower displayed by thousands and thousands of Ukrainians underscores the enduring significance of values on the coronary heart of its mission to the EU and highlights the fragility of peace that European integration has completed a lot to make doable.
Merely put, the EU wants Ukraine. It wants Ukraine for its dedication to European values and its opposition to the authoritarian various being promoted by Vladimir Putin.
Maybe above all, the EU wants Ukraine as a result of no different nation explicitly adheres to the rules of democracy and peaceable coexistence primarily based on the grand challenge of a united Europe. If EU leaders reject Ukraine at this historic second, that challenge will quickly discover itself with out the agency basis it at present enjoys.
Paul Grod is the President of the Ukrainian World Congress.
The views expressed in UkraineAlert are solely these of the authors and don’t essentially mirror the views of Atlantic Council, its staff or its supporters.
Eurasia Middle The mission is to reinforce transatlantic cooperation from Jap Europe and Turkey within the west to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia within the east to advertise stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia.