EU membership nod brings 'victory closer' for Ukraine, says Zelenskyy

Kyiv expects 'positive result' when EU leaders discuss accession issue at summit next week, says Ukrainian president.

EU membership nod brings 'victory closer' for Ukraine, says Zelenskyy

The European Commission’s nod for Ukraine to get EU candidate status will help Kyiv defeat Russia, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday.

“It’s the 1st step on the EU membership path that’ll certainly bring our victory closer,” Zelenskyy said on Twitter after the EU’s executive arm recommended making Ukraine a candidate for membership.

The Ukrainian leader thanked Ursula von der Leyen, the commission’s president, and all its members for “a historic decision,” adding that he expects a “positive result” when EU leaders meet next week.

“I’ve continued dialogue with the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council … we’ve coordinated steps on the eve of the historic European Council session to be held on June 23-24,” said Zelenskyy.

He vowed that Ukraine “will carry on with the course of pro-European reforms.”

After the EU Commission’s recommendation, it is up to member states to decide unanimously whether to start the accession process for Ukraine.

Given the positive signals from leaders of the bloc’s three biggest countries – Germany, France, and Italy – during their Thursday visit to Kyiv, it is highly possible that Ukraine will get the green light.

However, the process of becoming a member is long and arduous, meaning it might even take a decade for Ukraine to become a full member of the bloc.

Hüseyin Demir