Photo credit: President Of Ukraine

Zelensky demands faster path to EU membership for Ukraine

Ukraine has urged the European Union to send more support, and called on the bloc to provide a faster pathway to EU membership.

The remarks were made as European Commission President Ursuala Von Der Leyen was visiting the war-torn country this week, arriving at the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Tuesday. The visit was to mark Europe Day – an annual event that was established in the post-World War 2 era to celebrate peace and unity across the European continent.

“The time has come to remove the artificial political uncertainty in the relations between Ukraine and the EU,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky told reporters as he stood beside Von Der Leyen.

“The time has come to take a positive decision on the opening of negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the EU.”

Last February, at the outset of the Russia-Ukraine war, Von Der Leyen stated her desire to see Ukraine join the EU, saying “they belong to us – they are one of us and we want them in.”

Other European leaders have also affirmed the same sentiment, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who said in February of this year: “We want to see [Ukraine’s] application for EU membership progress as quickly as possible.”

In October of this year, Von Der Leyen will be sending a report to various EU governments on Ukraine’s “democratic and anti-corruption reform,” to see if the country qualifies to join the European community. At that point, current member states will decide whether or not formal membership talks can begin.

Brussels estimates that once talks begin later this year, it may take six to ten years to fully allow Ukraine to join the bloc. However, Ukraine believes this may be possible sooner.

Last year, EU officials signalled that they would like as many as 9 new member states to join the European Union, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Moldova and more in Europe’s east and south east.

The same year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz even called for current EU member states’ to have their veto removed on who is allowed to join the bloc in an effort to speed up this “enlargement.”

German chancellor calls to end EU member states’ veto

 

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