The president of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, has assured this Saturday that he expects a “logical and positive decision” by the summit of heads of state and government of the European Union that in two weeks will decide, predictably, on whether to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate country to join the community bloc.
In a press conference from kyiv together with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who has visited kyiv this weekend for the second time since the war began, Zelensky referred to the summit of leaders of the next 23 and June 24 in which, following the report on the Ukrainian candidacy by the European Commission, the leaders of the Member States must take a unanimous decision whether or not to grant Ukraine the status of a candidate country for the EU .
This summit, hopes the President of Ukraine, will be a “historic session of the European Council with the logical result of a decision in support of the candidate status for Ukraine”.
“This is a defining moment not only for Ukraine, but for the European Union and the entire European continent. It is at this moment that we are identifying a future for a unified Europe, if there will be a future. Russia wants to divide, weaken Europe. We are sure that Ukraine is only the first step in their plans,” Zelensky warned.
Therefore, a “positive answer” by the European Council regarding Ukraine’s candidacy “can become a positive answer to the question of whether there is a future for the European project,” Zelensky said.
“Our people clearly understand that this status (of a candidate country) is only the beginning of the road to accession. We have made some achievements in reforms in the implementation of the association agreement. Ukraine has yet to convert this path from candidacy to full membership,” the Ukrainian president said.
“We appreciate Ukraine’s determination during this process”
Zelensky also thanked Von der Leyen for her presence in kyiv today, the second time that the German has traveled to the Ukrainian capital since the beginning of the war, and the European Union for its support policies for Ukraine, both in the financial section and with , among other measures, the temporary liberalization of tariffs on exports from this country to the EU.
Von der Leyen has assured that “Ukraine is on the right track” during the joint appearance. “We appreciate the enormous effort and determination that Ukraine has shown during this process”, assured the President of the Commission in the presence of President Zelensky. “We want to support Ukraine in its desire to continue on its way to the European Union,” said Von der Leyen. The President of the European Commission has highlighted the “resilience” of the Ukrainian institutions “which are capable of continuing to work for their citizens” despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“It’s good to be back in kyiv. With President Zelensky we will talk about the joint work necessary for the reconstruction and the progress that Ukraine has made on its European path,” the Commission president wrote on her Twitter account about the visit, which had not been announced, that same morning.
He also applauded the European sanctions against Moscow, although he warned that the war is still going on and this reaction “must be even stronger”, with restrictive measures against officials and judges who support the war and repression or against all Russian companies that are assisting somehow to the Kremlin, both militarily and by undermining democracy or freedom of expression.