EU ministers and diplomats have said today that Ukraine is set to become a candidate for the European Union membership on June 23.
According to Reuters, the leaders of the EU who are currently in Brussels are expected to sign off the recommendation that was given by the European Commission last week.
Three diplomats have told Reuters that after several days of internal discussion, no opposition among the 27 member states regarding the candidate status for Ukraine has surfaced, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“We are working towards the point where we tell (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that Ukraine belongs to Europe, that we will also defend the values that Ukraine defends,” the foreign affairs minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, said before a meeting with the other EU ministers.
Reuters explains that in spite of some misgivings among some countries that taking Ukraine in is unrealistic, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Jeppe Kofod, said that he welcomes giving Ukraine candidacy status.
Kofod told reported that Denmark wholeheartedly supports the decision to grant Ukraine candidate status.
“We want to help Ukraine to achieve its European dream,” Kofod stated.
Even though candidacy status will mark a strategic shift, Kyiv would likely take years to become a member of the bloc.
The EU Commission proposed on June 17 that Ukraine gets granted EU candidate status. The news on the recommendation was announced by the head of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Von der Leyen said that Ukraine had demonstrated its determination and aspiration to live up to the standards and values of the EU.
“Ukraine has clearly shown commitment to live up to European values and standards. And embarked, before the war, on its way towards the EU,” von der Leyen wrote on her official Twitter account on June 17.
Additionally, von der Leyen pointed out that Ukraine has already implemented the majority of rules, standards, and norms. However, it was emphasised that work still needs to be done on the rules of law, anti-corruption, and fundamental rights, among others.
The recommendation of the EU Commission was welcomed by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He said that the EU membership would certainly bring Ukraine a step closer to victory.
Apart from Ukraine, the Commission recommended that the candidate status also get granted to Moldova. The Commission emphasised that Moldova will carry out numerous important reforms in its economy and public administration.
The Commission said that it hopes the country’s leaders stay on their course as Moldova has the potential to reach its European goals.