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EU grants candidate status to Ukraine, 'historical moment' says Zelenskyy

The war-torn nation was given candidature in four months

EU-SUMMIT/ EU and Ukraine flags shown in an illustration | Reuters

The European Union granted Ukraine EU candidate status on Thursday. Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the decision as historic and said Ukraine's future was in EU.

The war-torn nation was given candidate status along with Moldova. Granting the candidature, Roberta Metsola President of the European Parliament said, “It would be a historically wrong decision not to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova today, or give a clear perspective to Georgia.” She said, “We should be clear this is not simply some symbolic act, this will strengthen the EU and it will strengthen Ukraine and Moldova. It will show our people, as well as theirs, that our values matter more than rhetoric. That hope can mean results. And other countries waiting - those in the Western Balkans - also need to see hope lead to results. It is time.” 

Metsola said that they needed to speed up the delivery of military, humanitarian and financial aid to Ukraine and they need to advance on sanctions. “Sanctions are a useful tool if implemented properly, and here we need to start the next package, close loopholes of extend were necessary,” she said.

Hailing the decision Zelenskyy said, “This is the biggest step towards strengthening Europe that could be taken right now.” Addressing at the EU summit, he said, “Today you have adopted one of the most important decisions for Ukraine in all 30 years of independence of our state. On the fifth day of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, we applied to join the European Union. We provided extremely fast and high-quality answers to the questionnaire we received from the European Commission. And here is the desired result today. Today, I would like to reaffirm that Ukraine is capable of becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union.” On social media, Zelenskyy referring to the candidature said, “We have been waiting for 120 days and 30 years.”

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