The former president of the EC believes that the EU is not ready to receive a country that is at war

Former President of the European Commission and former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso / Photo EPA-EFE/ANTONIO COTRIM

The EU is not ready to accept a country that is at war as a member, because that would also bring it into the military conflict, according to the former president of the European Commission and former Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.

- The European Union is not ready to receive a country that is at war, like Ukraine, because that would be like transferring the war to the EU, said Barroso in an address at the opening of the Conference dedicated to the process of Ukraine's accession to the EU, entitled "Accession of Ukraine in the European Union – what we need for successful enlargement".

Barroso believes that instead of joining Ukraine, the EU should work to prevent the spread of the conflict, because "sooner or later we must be ready for a possible agreement of understanding."

- There is an aggressor and the attacked country - it is an asymmetric situation and what we need is peace. We have not reached that situation yet, but it is very important. Otherwise, we are giving (Russian President Vladimir) Putin reasons to continue the war for years, Barroso added.

According to him, the Ukrainian conflict is a European problem, because if "Putin wins the war in Ukraine, it will not only be a defeat for the Ukrainians, but also for us Europeans."

- When people ask me where the "European army" is, I tell them it is the Ukrainian army. The Ukrainian army is a "European army", said Barroso, adding that the views expressed in the address are his "personal" opinion.

Referring to the decision of EU leaders from the Summit in December last year to start accession negotiations with the Union, Barroso pointed out that Kiev has shown interest in joining the bloc since the "Orange Revolution" in 2005, but then there was no consensus among the member states for admission. to the country, so instead of a negotiation process, it was offered an Association Agreement.

- During that period, I had contacts with President Putin. He never opposed the Association Agreement with Ukraine or even its accession to the European Union. He has made it very clear that he does not accept Ukraine's NATO membership, as he emphasized in Bucharest in 2008, Barroso said.

He added that seven days later he passed on the conversation with Putin to the members of the European Commission, and then parts of it were made public.

– The Kremlin did not like that. They did not deny what was published, but claimed that Putin's words were taken out of context, Barroso said, adding that "it was clear to him that emotionally and politically" Putin does not accept the Ukrainian reality.

According to Barroso, Putin does not only want Crimea, but also all of Ukraine.

- Putin is not crazy, he is dangerous and an autocrat, but he is not irrational. He made a big mistake. He did not count on the determination of the Ukrainian people and the support of the European bloc and the United States, Barroso said, adding that the Russian aggression against Ukraine resulted in a "total war in the middle of Europe".

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