Ukraine urges EU accession talks this year ahead of key summit
Ukraine will host a key summit with the European Union on Friday, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying he wants to hold talks “this year” on his war-battered country joining the bloc.
EU leaders granted candidate status to Ukraine in June last year, just months after Russia sent troops into the pro-Western country. But the path to full membership remains long, and could take years.
The bloc’s chief Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Thursday with the EU’s most senior diplomat, Josep Borrell.
“I believe that Ukraine deserves to start negotiations on EU membership this year,” Zelensky said Thursday after talks with von der Leyen.
“Only together a strong Ukraine and a strong European Union can protect the life we value.”
Earlier this week, Ukraine expanded 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 tweeted that 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 the EU was “working on extending tariff-free access to our market”.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk