Warsaw, Poland – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed to establish a “European Commonwealth” that could include the UK, Poland, Ukraine and the three Baltic states.
Revealed by Italian outlet Corriere della Serra, the alleged plan would seek to set up “a new system of political, economic and military alliances – an alternative to the European Union – which will bring together countries united by distrust of Brussels, as well as Germany’s response to Russia’s military aggression”.
Johnson has been working on the initiative for over a month, according to the Italian media, citing anonymous sources “aware of the talks”, and first mentioned the idea to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during their meeting in Kyiv at the beginning of April.
Presumably led by the UK, this “European Commonwealth” could also include Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania – all of which are EU members – as well as Ukraine and possibly Turkey later.
The overarching goal appears to be the establishment of a looser political and defence alliance – compared to the EU and NATO – that would nonetheless provide tangible security and financial guarantees for Ukraine as the country battles Russia’s invasion.
It would also seek to strengthen post-Brexit UK’s influence in Central and Eastern Europe beyond the reach of EU institutions and with governments London sees as like-minded allies. Beyond that, details are scarce, and observers remain sceptical as to the seriousness of the project.
“We have not seen any concrete proposal,” commented Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis. “We have no idea what its content is, how real and how serious it is.”
The Ukrainian government hasn’t commented publicly on the topic.