As the Russian-Ukrainian conflict enters its 120th day, EU leaders will formally start Ukraine on the long road to EU membership on Thursday and tomorrow in a summit in Brussels, giving it the status of official candidate.
Although this process can take many years, according to more than one European official in previously, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is optimistic.
Get out of the darkness
Yesterday, Wednesday, he praised the awaited offer from EU countries on the status of the candidate for his country, exhausted by the battles against Russian forces in Donbass, in the east of the country. “I believe all 27 EU countries will support our candidate status,” he said during a speech to students in Toronto via a video link.
He also felt that this predicted decision could be akin to “stepping out of the dark into the light”.
The impending decision of the European Union could be like stepping out of the darkness into the light!
The move is in largely symbolic, but it will still help to lift the morale of the Ukrainians in a very difficult moment of the conflict which lasted four months and which killed thousands of people, displaced millions of people and reduced in rubble villages and cities.
The conflict has also had a huge impact on the global economy and European security provisions, driving up the prices of gas, oil and food and prompting the European Union to reduce its heavy dependence on Russian energy. In addition, he urged Finland and Sweden to seek NATO membership.
Interestingly, many diplomats have repeatedly stressed that the step to joining the European Union could take a decade or more for Ukraine to meet the criteria and conditions for this membership, including the fight against corruption and the issue of human rights, of minorities, democracy and others.
However, many European leaders argued that Ukrainians were fighting for European values of democracy and that the bloc should make a gesture in acknowledging their sacrifice.
Moscow, which launched a military operation on February 24 in Ukrainian territory, he had repeatedly warned of that step, and put in guard against the danger of the expansion of Western alliances, in particular of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which considers a spearhead against it.
It also felt that Kiev’s accession to the Union would pave the way for its entry into NATO, which it sees as a red line for its national and strategic security.
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