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Ukraine Officially Given European Union Candidate Status

Ukraine Officially Given European Union Candidate Status

Ukraine applied for EU membership less than a week after the war began

The European Union has officially agreed to make Ukraine a candidate for EU membership in a historic day for the country.

It has now been confirmed that the EU has accepted both Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for the union.

Ukraine applied for EU membership on 27 February, less than a week after the Russian invasion began.

Candidate status is the first step towards EU membership, but the journey is a long one and can take years to join. Importantly, applicants aren't always guaranteed to be successful.

Countries must meet a detailed host of economic and political conditions, including a commitment to the rule of law and other democratic principles.

European Council President Charles Michel tweeted: "Agreed! #EUCO has just decided to grant EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova.

"A historic moment! Today is a milestone on your path to the EU.

"Congratulations @ZelenskyyUa and @sandumaiamd, as well as the peoples of Ukraine and Moldova Our future is together!"

President Zelenskyy also tweeted: "Sincerely commend EU leaders’ decision at #EUCO to grant [Ukraine] a candidate status.

"It’s a unique and historical moment in [Ukraine-EU] relations.

"Grateful to @CharlesMichel, @vonderleyen and EU leaders for support. Ukraine’s future is within the EU. #EmbraceUkraine."

It's thought that this move will further fuel Russian President Vladimir Putin's anger towards the union.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, added: "Today is a good day for Europe.

"Congratulations to President @ZelenskyyUA President @Sandumaiamd and Prime Minister @GharibashviliGe.

"Your countries are part of our European family. And today’s historic decision by Leaders confirms that."

She added: "Very pleased with the Leaders’ endorsement of our Opinions. [We] all have work to do before moving to the next stage of the process.

"I know that they will move swiftly.

"They know how crucial this is for their democracies, their economies and their citizens.

"This decision strengthens us all.

"It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, in the face of Russian imperialism. And it strengthens the EU.

 "Because it shows once again to the world that we are united and strong in the face of external threats."

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information. 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Ukraine