Are partial accessions to the EU and Nato a good idea?
According to President Maia Sandu, the Republic of Moldova is considering a "two-step" accession to the EU — initially without the separatist region of Transnistria, which is under Russian influence. The new Franco-German report on enlarging and reforming the EU likewise discusses the possibility of excluding disputed territories from the accession process. Proposals for partial accession to Nato are also circulating. Commentators weigh up the options.
Also an option for Ukraine and Georgia
Writing in Adevărul, political analyst Cristian Unteanu finds Sandu’s idea revolutionary:
“The European Council should agree to start accession negotiations with the Republic of Moldova in two stages, first without Transnistria. ... Is that possible? If so, the European leaders would have to decide whether this is a one-off solution that applies only to Chișinău or whether it’s also an option for Ukraine and Georgia. ... In theory, the Council could propose such a solution, but will the leaders in Ukraine and Georgia accept it? Highly unlikely, because so far Zelensky has stubbornly rejected all proposals that go in this direction. We’ll see what signals come from Georgia.”
An effective anti-blackmail tactic
Revista 22 believes partial EU accessions are a viable option:
“In other words, Ukraine could join without the territories occupied by the Russian Federation, and Moldova without Transnistria. As painful as this may seem, this principle has the advantage of preventing blackmail by unrecognised or external actors and reversing the pressure. We can already imagine what the inhabitants of Transnistria will think of a prosperous Republic of Moldova whose citizens can travel and work freely within the EU. ... Transnistria would become a depopulated area where only the separatist leadership and their families, their clientele and Russian pensioners live.”
Not realistic for Nato
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is unconvinced by the proposal put forward by ex-Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen just under a week ago for Ukraine to be given partial Nato membership, without the occupied territories:
“On the one hand, such a step would amount to a direct entry into the war by Nato, because the alliance assures us that it will defend every inch of its territory. Putin would then only have to allow his troops to advance a few metres on a remote section of the front to put Nato’s stability to the test without incurring major risks. One can imagine how that would turn out. In addition, Ukraine’s partial accession would be tantamount to a de facto recognition of the Russian conquests.”
It’s about security for the future
Political scientist Volodymyr Fessenko finds Rasmussen’s initiative worth considering. On his Facebook page he writes:
“In Ukraine the reaction to this idea has been largely critical — both in the Office of the President and among experts. Rasmussen’s critics see his proposals either as an appeal to freeze the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, or as backing the idea of ‘peace in exchange for giving up the occupied territories’, which, however, does not really correspond to his position. His proposals are not a peace plan. ... Instead, they aim to protect against another war, and Rasmussen sees this plan as a security guarantee for Ukraine for the near future.”