Ukraine deserves EU entry talks 'this year', says President Zelenskyy
Zelenskyy said further integration with the European bloc would inspire Ukrainians and give them 'motivation' to fight against Russian troops
Kyiv, Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday that his war-torn country deserved to start talks “this year” on joining the European Union.
“I believe that Ukraine deserves to start negotiations on EU membership this year,” Zelenskyy said Thursday after talks with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen.
He said further integration with the European bloc would inspire Ukrainians and give them “motivation” to fight against Russian troops.
On Friday, Kyiv hosts a high-profile EU-Ukraine summit.
In June last year, EU leaders granted candidate status to Ukraine, just months after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to the pro-Western country.
But the path to full membership remains long despite Kyiv’s bullishness and could take years.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned last May it could take “decades” before Ukraine meets the criteria and achieves full membership.
Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian and EU officials had a “mutual” understanding.
“Only together a strong Ukraine and a strong European Union can protect the life we value,” Zelenskyy said.
“And that our further integration must give energy and motivation to our people to fight against any obstacles and threats.”
The Ukrainian leader also said that global pressure on Russia must be increased.
“The enemy is at a specific stage when Russia’s strategic defeat is already clear,” he said. “But tactically, they still have the resources to attempt offensive actions.”
On Twitter, von der Leyen said Ukraine was “taking notable steps forward to meet our recommendations, while at the same time fighting an invasion.”
“We have never been closer,” she said, noting that “We are also working on extending tariff-free access to our market.”
The talks Thursday came a day after Ukraine expanded its anti-corruption efforts by raiding the residences of an oligarch and a former interior minister, a key issue for Kyiv to secure approval to join the EU.
Von der Leyen said at a press conference with Zelenskyy that she was “comforted” to see that the corruption crackdown was delivering “tangible results”.
Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Ukraine vows to take 'advantage of Russian fatigue in Bakhmut very soon'
The head of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said this week that his forces were in control of around 70 percent of the city, and a Russian aide in the wider Donetsk region said the city was "practically surrounded"
Is Moldova the focal point of a new Russian strategy for 'horizontal' conflict?
Russia has invested a lot in its destabilisation efforts in Moldova. While it may seem there has not been much return on this investment, this would be the wrong conclusion to draw. Moscow has found it quite simple to profit on the annoyances of common Moldovans by spreading a false narrative
Explained: Will EU's deal to send 1 million artillery shells to Ukraine resolve its ammunition shortage?
The EU is looking to provide Ukraine a million 155-millimetre artillery shells in the next 12 months. But Kyiv has said it requires 350,000 shells per month. Some also say the ambitious target is not ‘set in stone’ – which experts warn could prove disastrous for Ukraine