Ukraine grants EU candidate status at the Council of Europe conference

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BRUSSELS – European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to make Ukraine a rural member, another indication of Kyiv’s symbolic victory amid the war with Russia and how the world is being reshaped.

Membership will not be offered at the candidate level, which can last for several more decades. But the result A historic move for Europe – and a signal to Moscow.

The heads of state and government, who gathered in Brussels for the two-day European Council summit, also approved Moldova’s candidacy. Ukraine and Moldova Candidates must meet certain conditions to apply. The leaders said Georgia would become a candidate after other conditions were met.

“This is a turning point and a very good day for Europe,” European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen told a news conference in Brussels. “It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in the face of Russian aggression and strengthens the European Union.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the news. “I sincerely applaud the decision of the EU leaders,” he said. chirp.

The Kremlin, Ukraine says, A sovereign state, not a real state, wants to force you into Moscow’s sphere of influence. The path to membership in the countryside sends a message that Ukraine is a very real country with a future to choose from, said Vsevolod Chintsov, head of Ukraine’s mission to the European Union.

Sentsov said this week that the EU candidate’s status, eroded by months of fighting for Ukrainians, was a “sign of hope” and a sign that “the EU hopes Ukraine can do it.”

The European Union granted candidate status to Ukraine. This means here.

Leaders, diplomats, and officials expressed surprise that Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia had finally been able to reach an agreement after years of negotiations and deadlock.

“A few months ago, I really doubted we would ever reach that level,” Estonian Prime Minister Jaja Gallus said on Thursday. “I’m so glad we’re there.”

Speaking on anonymity describing the private talks, an EU official said the bloc’s leaders had expanded in the past two weeks “more than in the past 25 years”.

The decision comes at a difficult time for Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said Thursday that Russian forces have advanced south into the eastern city of Lysyansk, which would have formed defensive forces. Adjust to avoid bending.

The fall of the settlements of Loskudivka and Roy-Oleksandrovka followed Russia’s seizure of the strategic village of Toshikovka earlier this week. As Moscow seeks to occupy the entire Luhansk Province, a large part of the twin city of Leschinsk is under Russian control.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister said Thursday that his country has received from the United States the M142 High Mobility Artillery Missile Systems, known as HIMARS. US officials say the weapons will allow Ukrainian forces to fire multiple missiles at Russian artillery and troops quickly and accurately.

The news from Brussels reassured the Ukrainians. “Ukraine will win and Europe will win,” said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba. video message.

He continued, “Today marks the beginning of a long journey that we are about to take together.” Ukrainians belong to European families. The future of Ukraine is in the hands of the European Union.

Ukraine had long sought to join the war in the days of the European Union, calling for a faster path for Zelensky’s member, and presenting the appointment as a matter of survival. Although the Baltic states and other Eastern European countries supported the idea, many member states backed down.

In the spring, the leaders of those countries seemed happy to demonstrate with Zelensky but were reluctant to offer Ukraine a path to membership.

None of the 27 will say ‘no’ to the president’s face, Olha Stepanishina, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, told the Washington Post during a visit to Brussels on June 9. “But what happens behind the scenes is a clear choice to put obstacles in the way.”

Zelensky urged EU leaders to do more. In his June 10 speech, he said that granting Ukraine candidate status “will prove that words about nostalgia for the Ukrainian people as part of the European family are not just words.” The next day, Van der Leyen made a surprise visit to Kyiv to complete his assessment of the country’s candidacy.

What is NATO and why is Ukraine not a member?

As Van der Leyen continued to declare Ukraine’s readiness, Ukrainian diplomats traveled to European capitals to keep up the pressure. Some strongholds were created that were supposed to get in the way of Ukraine To reduce your previous doubts.

Last week, the leaders of Germany, France and Italy flew to Kyiv and expressed their support for Ukraine’s candidacy. The next day, the commission recommended the position of the candidate. Earlier this week, EU diplomats described it as a “complete deal”.

But the same diplomats warn that there is still a long way to go. The Commission has identified six steps to be completed before progressing in Ukraine. These include: Enforcement of laws to ensure the selection of qualified judges. control of the influence of the oligarchy; and improve its record in investigations, prosecutions and penalties related to corruption.

With the outbreak of fighting in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian officials acknowledged that it would be difficult to move forward with some reforms. “Inevitably there will be issues to be resolved after the ceasefire,” Sentsov said.

The challenges are not limited to Ukraine. Although the European Union decided to create a three-member membership path, the desire for expansion remains weak. Member states can make a gesture and now look for ways to slow things down.

Turkey applied in 1987 and is a candidate. Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania and Bosnia have been involved in accession negotiations with the European Union for many years.

Europe behind Ukraine. But fatigue is in the corner.

Preliminary results of the summit, obtained by The Washington Post, suggest that Ukrainian membership may depend on the group’s “ability” to “absorb new members”. Before allowing in the new arrivals, some want to reverse the decision-making process in the European Union.

If Ukraine joined now, it would become the fifth most populous and poorest member state. Ukraine’s GDP per capita was $4,872 last year, less than half that in the currently poorest country, Bulgaria, at $11,683. International Monetary Fund estimates.

Some countries, especially in Western Europe, are concerned that the presence of a major new member will further complicate the decision-making process and polarize the balance of power towards Central and Eastern Europe.

The leaders plan to meet again on Friday to discuss the impact of the Russian war on the economy. On Thursday, Germany raised the alert level under its emergency gas programme, as Russia pressed for supplies to Europe.

World leaders, including President Biden, are due to meet in Madrid next week for a NATO summit focused on the war in Ukraine and the alliance’s future.

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