WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement on the European Union’s (EU) recommendation to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova:
“It is encouraging that the EU has assessed that both Ukraine and Moldova have made enough progress in their reform and anti-corruption work to begin accession talks. I appreciate the difficult decisions and hard steps they’ve taken to move towards EU membership, and am glad they’ve made the European choice. Certainly, Ukraine and Moldova both have much more work to do before they are ready to fully join the EU, but I look forward to continuing to support them as they undertake more difficult steps.
“The commission’s recommendation to name Georgia a candidate country to the EU once it meets specific conditions is a good compromise. The people of Georgia have made very clear their European aspirations. Unfortunately, the current government has not lived up to its people’s desires. If Georgia truly wishes to move towards EU membership, it’s government must actively fulfill the EU’s conditions, including conducting verifiably free and fair elections next year, respecting civil society, and beginning to align with some of the EU’s foreign policy positions – specifically on sanctions against Russia. When Georgia meets the conditions laid out by Brussels, I will be happy to see their positive movement towards EU membership.”