EU grants candidate status to Ukraine — RT World News


The European Council decided to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova at a European summit on Thursday. Previously, Belgium had said that this status would be a great sign of hope for Kyiv, but it is, for now, more of a “symbolic” gesture.

The news that Ukraine would become a hopeful of the European Union was announced by Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

“The European Council has granted candidate country status to Ukraine and Moldova. Historic moment and signal of hope for the Ukrainian people (sic)”, Bettel tweeted.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, hailed this decision as a “historic moment”. While Georgia did not gain candidate status, the bloc acknowledged “the European perspective” of the country, explained Michel, adding that the European Council “is ready to grant candidate status once outstanding priorities have been addressed.”

Earlier today, the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed a proposal to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Last week, kyiv’s bid was backed by the European Commission.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated the three countries on the bloc’s decision. She warned, however, that all “have some work to do before moving on to the next step in the process.”


Speaking ahead of the summit, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said granting Ukraine EU candidate status was an important step.symbolic messageto support kyiv in its ongoing conflict with Russia. Actual EU membership, however, is still “many years“far away and the country must first meet European standards,” he explained.

“This does not mean that Ukraine will soon be part of the European Union. It is a process of several years with a lot of reforms which will be very difficult and, for us, it is very important to give a strong symbolic signal”, De Croo said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the EU’s decision to grant the country candidate status, calling the development a “unique and historic” moment.

“We sincerely welcome the decision of EU leaders to [the European Council summit] to grant Ukraine candidate status. This is a unique and historic moment in the relations between Ukraine and the EU,” he added. Zelensky tweeted.


Granting the EU candidacy to Ukraine is just a press stunt, just ask the Turk who signed the same agreement in 1999

While EU membership has been a main talking point for pro-Western Ukrainian politicians for decades, Kyiv has made little or no real progress on this path. The drive to join the bloc received a major new boost after Russia launched a large-scale military operation against Ukraine in late February.

Russia attacked the neighboring state after Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Luhansk . The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to give the regions a special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.


RT

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