#Aljazeera: Zelenskyy hails 'victory' as EU agrees to open Ukraine membership talks
11:48, Friday, 15 December, 2023
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has hailed a “victory” for Ukraine and Europe after European Union leaders agreed to open membership talks with Kyiv, but the mood was soured just hours later after Hungary carried through on threats to block plans to channel crucial financial aid to Ukraine.
European Council President Charles Michel, host of the summit in Brussels, announced Thursday’s agreement on membership talks in a social media post, calling it “a clear signal of hope for their people and for our continent”.
Zelenskyy welcomed the decision as “a victory for Ukraine. A victory for all of Europe. A victory that motivates, inspires, and strengthens,” he said in a post on X.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said it was “a strategic decision and a day that will remain engraved in the history of our union”.
“These countries belong to the European family,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said.
The EU also agreed to open talks with Moldova, and granted EU candidate status to Georgia.