Fico: EU's Decision to Start Accession Process with Ukraine Overrated

Fico: EU's Decision to Start Accession Process with Ukraine Overrated
Prime Minister Robert Fico (stock photo by TASR)

        Brussels, December 15 (TASR-correspondent) - Ukraine deserves European prospects but Thursday's decision of the European Council to start accession talks with Kiev is overrated, Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) stated on Friday following the two-day EU summit in Brussels.
        The Slovak premier doesn't understand the European Union's "obsession" with Ukraine but he supported the opening of the accession process. At the summit, Slovakia didn't even block the revision of the EU's long-term budget, on which the leaders eventually didn't agree.
        "I'm a bit disturbed by the obsession with Ukraine, I also said it in my speech that we should be obsessed with our problems in the EU," said the prime minister, adding that the leaders approved the opening of the accession process for Ukraine and Moldova without any criticism or internal analysis. They also granted the status of a candidate country to Georgia and agreed that Bosnia and Herzegovina will also have the opportunity to open accession chapters in the foreseeable future.
        "We close our eyes to the phenomena that are happening in Ukraine but I said that the country deserves European prospects. However, this political gesture that we accepted is overrated. Hopefully, we don't think that this will change the conditions on the battlefield," said Fico.
        "I wish Ukraine all the best in its European outlooks," noted Fico and pointed out that he's set to meet in January with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal at the Slovak-Ukrainian border. In addition to the agreed topic of providing humanitarian and civil aid, he wants to offer him the experience that Slovakia had with the accession process.
        In this context, Fico criticised the fact that the leaders at the summit didn't make a positive decision in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to him, this country can be described as a 'barrel of gunpowder' - also because of the strained relations between the Republic of Serbia and the UN high representative, and the individual communities between themselves.