The European Union (EU) agreed on Thursday to put Ukraine on a path toward EU membership, in a bold geopolitical move hailed by the EU itself as a “historic moment.”
The EU also granted candidate status to the tiny country of Moldova, another former Soviet state that borders Ukraine.
European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, pronounced it a “good day for Europe,” while EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said “Ukraine will prevail.”
“Europe will prevail. Today marks the beginning of a long journey that we will walk together,” Borrell added.
Ukraine applied for membership less than a week after Moscow invaded on February 24. According to ABC News, the EU leaders’ unusually quick decision to give Ukraine candidate status was triggered by Russia’s invasion.
EU leaders stressed, however, that the bloc will need a major overhaul of its decision-making process before it can enlarge again — and that Ukraine and Moldova will have much “homework” to do.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, welcomed the EU’s decision as “a unique and historic moment”, tweeting: “Ukraine’s future is in the EU.”
Leaders of other EU nations, such as Greece, have also welcomed the news.
In a post on Twitter, Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said the unanimous decision was of “particular importance.”
“It is a very important political decision taken by the EU in response to Russia’s overt invasion of Ukraine,” Mitsotakis said.
The Greek PM also stressed that Greece will support the Western Balkans in their quest to join the EU and would recommend setting 2033 as a deadline for completing the accession process.
This declaration came as Balkan leaders failed on Thursday to break a deadlock over a stalled EU membership bid by North Macedonia and Albania.
Source: ABC News.