Photo: Presidential Administration of Ukraine

The Ukrainian President is confident that Ukraine will join the EU someday, and his administration is also pushing for NATO membership. 

Ukraine celebrated the Day of Europe yesterday in several Ukrainian cities. In Kyiv, people, politicians, and foreign diplomats celebrated on Mykhailivska Square in the city center with dance, music performances, and exhibitions. 

Politicians used the day to argue for greater cooperation between the EU and Ukraine, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made it clear on Twitter that Ukraine will become a member of the European Union at some point. 

“Ukraine is Europe. We’re Europeans, the center & heart of Europe by geography, spirit, values & aspirations. We proved it on Maidan & we prove it every day, changing our state, building independence & our future, defending the eastern border of Europe. Ukraine will definitely be in EU,” Zelensky wrote.

Ukraine also wants NATO membership

Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna used the Day of Europe to clarify that Ukraine still seeks NATO membership and that Ukraine thinks that the progress is going too slow. In recent months during the Russian escalation in Donbas, Ukraine has been pushing increasingly for NATO membership, but nothing concrete has happened. 

“Thirteen years have passed since the Bucharest Summit, at which it was decided that Ukraine and Georgia would be granted (NATO) membership in the future. And now we are in a situation when we insist on fulfilling this promise. Our position is that this promise is fixed, it will be confirmed at the next summit, and the statement of this summit will pave the way to the MAP,” said Olha Stefanishyna to Ukrinform

“But we are not disappointed with the expected results of the summit and plan that the next summit will be dedicated not to discussions, but to decision-making, and this will definitely create a platform on which our President will be present,” she said. 

Russia criticizes Ukraine

The Russian politicians are blaming Ukraine for the recent escalation in Donbas, while Ukrainian politicians have pushed for EU and NATO membership. Ukraine recently charged the pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who is the leader of the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform – For Life in Ukraine, with treason, leading to a sharp response from President Vladimir Putin, who said the case was political and to remove all ties to Russia. 

“Ukraine is slowly but surely being turned into some kind of an antipode of Russia, into an ‘anti-Russia,’ into a place from which we will constantly, apparently, receive news that needs our special attention in terms of ensuring the security of the Russian Federation,” Putin said, according to Kyiv Post

Oleh Nykolenko, the spokesperson for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, yesterday responded to those comments, saying Ukraine chooses its path. 

“Ukrainians, as a sovereign nation, independently determine the vector of their development without involvement of third parties. Neither Russian tanks nor the spreaders of toxic ideas of the ‘Russian world’ can stop the transformation of Ukraine into a modern European democratic state,” Nykolenko said, according to Kyiv Post