Germany’s FM said that she envisions the European Union extending “from Lisbon to Lugansk”
Russia would have to join the EU for German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to fulfill her promise of the bloc spanning all the way “from Lisbon to Lugansk,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.
Speaking at an informal meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers in Kiev on Monday, Baerbock insisted that “the future of Ukraine is in the EU, in our community of freedom, and soon [the EU] will stretch from Lisbon to Lugansk.”
Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, which along with Ireland and part of Spain makes up the EU’s western edge. Lugansk is the main city of the People’s Republic of Lugansk, which officially became part of the Russian state last year, together with the People’s Republic of Donetsk and the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions. The move followed referendums that saw the populace in the four regions overwhelmingly support reunification with Moscow. Ukraine and its Western backers refused to recognize the results of the votes.
“It’s either us joining the EU or she forgot about the requirement to turn by 360 degrees,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram in response to Baerbock’s statement.
The spokeswoman was referring to the blunder that the German FM made in February when she urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to “change by 360 degrees” his policy on Ukraine, unwittingly urging Russia to maintain the exact course it had been on.
Baerbock’s claims about Lugansk being in the EU are a “figment of the sick imagination” of the German FM because the city is and will remain a part of Russia, Dmitry Belik, a member of the Russian Parliament’s Committee on International Affairs, told Izvestia newspaper.
Germany’s top diplomat “continues to add to her collection of absurd statements, which speaks of her incompetence and confirms the difficulty of seeking compromise with such politicians,” Belik added.
On Monday, EU foreign ministers held their first ever meeting outside the bloc’s territory. Its foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the high-profile meeting was staged in Kiev “to express our solidarity and support to the Ukrainian people.”
Ukraine was granted EU-candidate status in July 2022 amid its conflict with Russia. Sources told Bloomberg last month that the European Commission is expected to shortly recommend that formal talks begin to start the multi-year process of Kiev’s accession into the bloc.
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