Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday praised a decision from the European Commission to give its backing for Kyiv to be granted EU candidacy status, nearly four months into Russia’s invasion of the country.
“It’s the first step on the EU membership path that’ll certainly bring our victory closer,” Zelensky wrote on social media, adding that he was “grateful” to EU chief Ursula von der Leyen and “each EC member for a historic decision”.
Formal “candidate” status for Ukraine could open up a years-long path towards joining the bloc, with the decision likely to be formalised at an EU leaders’ summit on June 23-24.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba described the EC’s backing as “European history in the making” in a post on social media and called for Ukraine to be granted full candidacy status.
“This will be a vivid proof of European leadership and a huge boost for Ukraine’s further transformations,” he said.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN, Sergiy Kyslytsya, hailed on social media what he described as a “truly historic day for Ukraine and Europe”.
He said many Ukrainians “have already paid the ultimate price” for the European Commission’s backing for Kyiv’s EU candidacy status.