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EU discord over Ukraine free trade spells trouble for Kyiv’s accession hopes – POLITICO

EU discord over Ukraine free trade spells trouble for Kyiv’s accession hopes – POLITICO
EU discord over Ukraine free trade spells trouble for Kyiv’s accession hopes – POLITICO

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Enlargement woes

With Kyiv seeking closer ties with Brussels, the question remains as to how much the EU will have to change to accommodate Ukraine within its borders.

Importantly, Ukraine would become the biggest beneficiary of the EU’s agricultural subsidies, if current rules apply — and that would only stoke the farmers’ fury further. 

What’s happening now, “is more than foretaste. It’s the reality of how difficult it will be for Ukraine to be a member of the single market,” said one European diplomat, granted anonymity due to the sensitivity of the discussions. 

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“[French President Emmanuel] Macron talks about sending boots on the ground, and now he’s afraid of Ukrainian eggs,” they added, referring to the push from the French leader for artillery shells and western boots in the war-torn country at the end of February. 

It’s unlikely that things will get any less fraught once Ukraine moves closer to joining the bloc.

“This will have an influence on heads of state when they have to think about the EU’s internal reform,” said a second EU diplomat, also granted anonymity to talk about the sensitive matter.  “Farmers are not so much putting the blame on Ukraine, but more on the way the EU works.”



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