Croatian PM says EU sent ‘strong political signal’ on Ukraine at Versailles summit

A week after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed his country’s formal application to join the European Union, EU leaders pledged to “strengthen ties” and “deepen the partnership” between Ukraine and the bloc, which falls far short of the promise to speed up the candidacy.

Action that some have been calling for. But the Croatian prime minister told Jowharthat the 27 member states had a “strong political signal”. Andrei Plenkovic spoke to our Europe Editor Catherine Nicholson during this week’s EU Summit in Versailles.

“At Versailles, we sent a strong political signal saying that we want to intensify relations with Ukraine in every possible way in order to continue its European path,” Plenkovic told France 24.

The Croatian prime minister strongly condemned Russia’s “brutal” invasion of Ukraine, saying that on February 24 Russia had “violated all principles of international law and international order as we know them” and that the European Union was united in its condemnation of the war.

He added, “We can only conclude after the statements of the Russian Foreign Minister [Sergei Lavrov] that we live in two different realities, which is why we will continue to send strong messages and adopt bundles of restrictive measures in order to tell Moscow that this is inappropriate; And that they must immediately stop the occurrence of so many innocent victims and people fleeing their homes in Ukraine, which is unbelievable and unacceptable for the third decade of the twenty-first century in Europe.”

When asked about the EU’s energy dependence on Russian gas “above 40 percent”, Plenkovic said: “In Europe, the energy dependence on Russian gas exceeds 40 percent. It is a real threat to countries and I think that what we are currently releasing is the complete alternative concept of supplying Gas in Europe, whether it is from increasing production locally, or whether it is imports from other gas-producing countries such as Norway, Azerbaijan, Libya or Algeria, or ships coming with LNG.”

The Croatian Prime Minister said that there are three crises that exist. “The first is the tragedy of the Ukrainian people, for which we completely regret and try to help our Ukrainian friends; the second is the massive influx of asylum; European Union, we are asking the Commission to come up with proposals that have to be a European solution, even a global one in putting an end to energy prices. We have all turned, domestically, into interventionist governments.”

Produced by Georgina Robertson, Sophie Smail, and Beren Desplats. Give your opinions and share your thoughts on immigration in the European Union

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