“We have nothing against it. It is their sovereign decision whether or not to join economic unions… It is their business, the business of the Ukrainian people,” Putin told Russia’s annual economic showcase, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Russia, which has been leading an offensive in Ukraine since Feb. 24, has a very vague view of Kiev’s ambitions to join NATO – which Moscow sees as a threat to its security.
But “as far as their economic integration is concerned, it is their choice,” Putin said.
“The EU is not a military alliance, unlike NATO,” he said.
However, the Russian president said he believed that if Ukraine proceeded to join the EU, it would become “a semi-colony” of Western countries.
“That’s my opinion,” he said.