Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday said he doubted the motives of Ukraine’s intention of joining the European Union while accusing Brussels of ambitions beyond the European continent.
Ukraine, where Russia launched a military campaign on Feb. 24, “is ready to declare a neutral, non-aligned status,” Lavrov told reporters following a meeting of CIS foreign ministers in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe.
“At the same time, they are trying in every possible way to emphasize their desire to become an EU member,” Lavrov added.
“There are serious doubts about how harmless such a desire is from Kyiv,” he said.
Russia has insisted at stalled peace talks that Ukraine drop its ambition to enter the U.S.-led military alliance NATO and declare itself “neutral.”
Kyiv has admitted it is unlikely to become a NATO member — but has forged ahead with an application to join the 27-nation EU since the start of the conflict.
Lavrov accused the EU of transforming from a “constructive, economic platform” into an “aggressive, militant player, declaring its ambitions far beyond the European continent,” pointing to moves in the Indo-Pacific region.
“They are rushing to follow in the tracks already laid by NATO, thereby confirming the trend that they are merging with the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) and will in fact serve as its appendage,” he said.