Jacques Cheminade: “Why Ukraine Should Not Join the European Union”

Jacques Cheminade, president of Solidarité et Progrès and a former French presidential candidate, issued a statement on March 9, 2022, explaining why the European Union should not accept the membership of Ukraine. One compelling, but little known reason is that it would basically allow NATO forces to be stationed on its territory. Here are long excerpts from his statement. (The full version in French is here.)

On March 7, the European Union started examining the membership applications of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, submitted following the Russian military operation against Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for his country to be allowed to become a member of the EU without delay. At the same time, in an interview with ABC, he suggested that he was resigned to the fact that Ukraine would not join NATO. The U.S., for its part, has announced the suspension of imports of Russian oil, gas, and coal.

The time has come, in these circumstances, to take a quick political decision, considering the vital interests of France, Europe, and the Ukrainian and Russian peoples…

What is essential is to consider the situation in Europe beyond geopolitical considerations, in the context of a world economy where mutual development is the interest of all peoples. The solution, beyond the situation in Ukraine, is to create a new international economic and monetary order that can be the basis for peace, as the treaties of Westphalia were in their time. There is no alternative to creating the conditions for peace, because the alternative is a destructive war for all and/or a generalized economic collapse. The Schiller Institute has therefore launched an appeal to convene an international conference to establish a new alternative of security and development for all nations (cf. above).

In that regard and under the current circumstances, starting the procedure for Ukraine’s membership to the EU would only accelerate the sleepwalking towards a suicidal confrontation. Not only would it be seen as a provocation by Russia, but economically, strategically and culturally, it would not be beneficial. This is for the following reasons:

  • Russia rightly considers that the promises made after the fall of the Berlin Wall not to expand NATO forces beyond reunified Germany have not been kept. And to make things worse, Western countries have been unable or unwilling to impose the 2015 Minsk agreements on Ukraine.
  • Many Western leaders and agencies have stated that their policy is to prevent the economic and technological development of Russia and China. That is because their leaders are under the economic and financial control of the oligarchy of the City of London, Wall Street and their emanations in the world, and that oligarchy can only maintain its power by seizing now inaccessible means and resources. The inflation unleashed by its system is due to a frantic emission of money and credit that no longer corresponds to the production of physical goods. Such a system of fictitious capital must necessarily expand outside its borders to survive, either by subjugating others or by infiltrating them economically and ideologically….
  • The sanctions imposed on Russia will not destabilize the Russian power, supported by the majority of the population and the armed forces. The calls by various Western personalities to physically eliminate President Putin are in reality an admission of impotence. Regardless of the moral judgment one may make of such considerations, if they were to succeed, they would provoke a situation of disorder and chaos in Europe and the world, as all precedents show.
  • Already today, the sanctions imposed by the Western countries will backfire because of the Russian counter-sanctions. While the halt to Russian oil and gas imports only affects 8% of American energy imports, in Western Europe they represent 40% and 30% respectively. Moreover, European industry (high-tech, digital, aeronautics, automotive, etc.) depends on titanium, palladium and lithium produced in Russia. Our agriculture depends on Russian fertilizers. Physically breaking the production and value chains with Russia would lead to a generalized crisis.
  • If Ukraine were admitted to the EU, it would be equivalent to admitting NATO forces on its territory. Indeed, the EU is linked to NATO by Title V, Article 21 and 42 of the EU Treaty. Of the 27 EU member states, 21 are part of NATO’s integrated command, which France rejoined in 2008. Since 2002, relations between the EU and NATO have intensified. Notably, under the joint declaration of July 10, 2018, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of NATO “agree to strengthen cooperation between the EU and NATO (…) its quality, scope and intensity.” More specifically, the signatories encourage “the widest possible participation of EU Member States that are not members of the Alliance in its initiatives.” This could not be clearer, and Russia will draw the necessary conclusions.
  • For all the above reasons, Ukraine’s entry into the EU would therefore be considered by Russia as an aggression. Since it is equally clear that this would lead to a war with Russia, which we do not have the means and which it is not in our interest to wage, another approach is required.

Jacques Cheminade further notes that to ensure peace in Ukraine, its neutrality needs to be guaranteed by the major powers, as well as the respect for its borders, and mutual economic, social and cultural development for all components of the country. In addition, the political influence of ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi forces on Ukrainian politics and part of its population needs to be removed.

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