Ukraine is ready to start process of joining European Union
Ukraine’s ambitions of joining the European Union received an important boost on Wednesday when the bloc’s executive body said detailed negotiations should begin next year.
The European Commission said in a report that so-called accession talks should finally start, nearly 18 months since the bloc accepted Ukraine as a candidate state. The same report recommended that the process should also begin with Moldova, which borders Ukraine.
On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Today is a historic day, because today the Commission recommends that the Council opens accession negotiations with Ukraine and with Moldova.”
Ukraine has held ambitions to join the EU for more than a decade. In late 2013, then-President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to scrap a trade deal with the European Union and instead turn toward Russia sparked street protests and his eventual ouster, followed in March 2014 by Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. The aim of joining the bloc – along with NATO - has formally been part of Ukraine’s constitution since 2019.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who applied for EU membership in February 2022, shortly before Russia invaded his country, welcomed Wednesday’s announcement.