Zelenskyy does not understand Dutch doubts about EU candidacy
Volodymyr Zelenskyy has little understanding for the reticence of Dutch politicians about Ukrainian membership of the European Union. In an interview with Nieuwsuur, the Ukrainian president said that he thinks there is enough support for it among the population. He believes the candidacy would send an important signal that the EU supports Ukraine. "The people support us."
Zelenskyy told the current affairs section that he had discussed this issue with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Thursday. "I said very openly: if you think there is no place for us in the EU, then you should say so clearly."
The prime minister replied that Ukraine will first have to go through a number of steps, which Zelenskyy sees as a bow to Dutch politics. "I also understand that he is in a difficult split, because political opinions in the Netherlands differ."
According to the Ukrainian president, there are no good reasons to deny the country candidate membership. He questioned investigations about the degree of corruption in his country and seemed visibly irritated about questions from interviewer Mariëlle Tweebeeke concerning this.
Zelenskyy also doubted that it would take many years, if not decades, before EU membership is in the picture, as Rutte, among others, has said. "I also heard that Putin would occupy Ukraine in three days." He alluded to an underestimation of how quickly Ukraine can develop. "There are reforms that we still have to and want to implement. And we are not doing that for the EU but for ourselves," Zelenskyy said.
Reporting by ANP