– Dutch MP Geert Wilders: EU cares about expansion, not Ukraine (RT, May 2, 2014):
The EU is responsible for “the mess” in Ukraine, Geert Wilders, Holland’s Party for Freedom leader, told RT. Wilders wonders why the bloc has got involved in a country where half the population is against joining Europe.
Wilders, who was speaking exclusively on RT’s SophieCo, believes the EU should have kept out of the conflict and only made things worse by giving the country hopes of a pre-accession treaty to the union, when the people of Ukraine were not in unison about joining the organization.
“It was a very delicate balance in Ukraine with 50 percent looking eastwards, towards Russia, and 50 percent of the population looking westwards, towards the European Union. So I think it was very irresponsible what the EU did; they should have kept out of it,” Wilders said.
The leader of the right-wing Party for Freedom criticized politicians from Europe, the US and from his home country for appearing in Kiev and giving the impression that Ukraine had the complete support of the West while completely ignoring the fact that Ukraine remains a very complex situation.
“I believe Europe was more thinking about itself and expanding it and its territory than really thinking about the whole of Ukraine, let alone the stability in that region.”
Wilders admits he understands the gripes of those living in the east of the country, who were unhappy when the coup-appointed government took power in Kiev. “The best thing to do is to de-escalate by taking the Russian minority in eastern Ukraine seriously; give them rights and make them really feel as important as the other half of Ukraine,” the 50 year-old Eurosceptic continued.
The Dutch politician says Russia is also partly to blame and that retaining the territorial integrity of Ukraine is of the utmost importance.
“I’m not only blaming the EU, I’m blaming both Russia and the EU. But I have to be honest, the European Union made a terrible move in the beginning of November last year, and they at least partially started a lot of the troubles, and that analysis is shared by more parties in the EU for sure,” said the leader of the Party for Freedom.
The US and the EU recently introduced more economic sanctions against Russia as they believe the country is having a destabilizing effect on Ukraine. However, Wilders says this will help neither the Russians nor the EU and cannot have a “positive effect.”
Wilders has achieved success in his native Netherlands on a ticket of euro skepticism and is adamant that his country should leave the EU. “We can deal better economically when we are in charge of our country, again, when it comes to national sovereignty – so, yes, we would like to leave the EU and be stronger as a national country,” the Dutchman said.
Wilders cites the example of Switzerland, as a model that his country could follow, with the Alpine nation being one of the richest on the continent, despite never having joined the EU.
“We lost our identity; we lost our national sovereignty to the EU, an institution that really a lot of people in the West don’t like so much anymore. I have nothing against Europe, but I have a lot against the EU as an organization,” Wilders concluded.