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Britain proposes Ukraine to set up union separate from EU

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to set up a new international alliance that will oppose Russia and become an alternative to the EU. This is reported by the Italian outlet Corriere Della Sera, citing its sources, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

The outlet claims that Johnson is proposing a new system of political, economic and military alliance — an alternative to the European Union — that will bring together countries united by mistrust to Brussels, as well as by Germany's response to Russian military aggression. The British Prime Minister first presented his idea to Volodymyr Zelenskyy when the President of Ukraine met him in Kyiv on April 9. Currently, negotiations are ongoing. The outlet notes that Britain's encouragement of Ukraine is becoming more insistent and detailed.

Johnson is proposing an alliance of states that are passionate about their national sovereignty, economically liberal and determined to counter the military threat from Moscow, the sources said. The model of the European Commonwealth he seeks to create would have the UK as the leader and include, in addition to Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and possibly Turkey at a later stage. However, it is not known how Poland or the Baltic countries will react to an initiative that could compromise their relations with Brussels.

The government in Kyiv, according to the outlet, has not yet taken any stance on the British initiative, but has not rejected it either. Volodymyr Zelenskнy is probably looking forward to the European summit on June 23, when the leaders of the 27 EU member states will be asked to decide whether to grant Ukraine candidate status in order to formally start EU accession talks.

However, it is not certain that the June 23 decision will be the one that Ukraine hopes for. There is a possibility, according to some negotiators, that EU leaders may limit themselves to a vague statement about Kyiv's "European perspective". In that case, Zelenskty might take Boris Johnson's alternative proposal more seriously.

It is also possible that rumors about these contacts are now circulating precisely in order to put pressure on European leaders on the eve of the June decision. The outlet, however, stresses that London does not have the ability of the European Union to financially support Ukraine.

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