Home » EU-Ukraine summit is ‘proof that Russia can’t break us’, says Zelenskyy

EU-Ukraine summit is ‘proof that Russia can’t break us’, says Zelenskyy

EU accession talks should start ‘this year’, says Zelenskyy

By Euronews Brussels correspondent Jorge Liboreiro.

Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy has thrown down the gauntlet to the EU, saying formal accession negotiations to join the bloc should start “this year.” 

“We’ve already started preparing for those negotiations. We expect the respective decisions to be made by the European Commission and the European Council,” Zelenskyy said, speaking through a translator. 

“The goal is to start negotiations this year. And this is not just a purpose but a major overwhelming goal.” 

Last year, Brussels gave Kyiv a set of seven reforms to implement as part of its accession bid, including the fight against corruption and the excessive influence of oligarchs in the economy. 

Speaking next to him, Ursula von der Leyen avoided any comments on the ambitious timeline and instead said Ukraine’s determination was “impressive” and its work would be reflected in a report due in autumn. 

“You’re taking important steps, with all the reforms forward, to meet the recommendations. And we should not forget, you are doing this while you are fighting against an aggressor,” the European Commission president said. 

“Besides reforms, it’s important to have a good track record on implementation. I know you’re working hard on that too.” 

“Rest assured that your progress will be reflected in our important enlargement report that is due in autumn for the member states,” von der Leyen added. 

“I’m confident that you will keep up the good pace because you know what is good for your country. And these reforms will anchor Ukraine in our family of free and liberal democracies.”

Accession is a highly technical and complex process that can take years, even decades, to be successfully completed.

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