HomeEuropeZelenskyy urges EU to grant Ukraine ‘immediate membership’

Zelenskyy urges EU to grant Ukraine ‘immediate membership’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Monday for Ukraine’s immediate accession into the EU under a new simplified procedure, though it was unclear how that could work in practice.

“We ask the European Union for Ukraine’s immediate accession via a new special procedure,” he said, speaking on his Telegram channel as fighting with Russian troops continued across the country. “Our goal is to be together with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be on an equal footing. I’m sure it’s fair. I’m sure it’s possible.”

The plea builds on Zelenskyy’s earlier call on Saturday to allow Ukraine’s accession into the bloc and comes on the back of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen saying Sunday that the bloc wants Ukraine to join. “They are one of us and we want them in,” she said. Ukraine is still not an official candidate for EU accession talks.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal added in a tweet Monday it was time to put the accession demand “down on paper” following Zelenskyy’s statement.”We have long proved that we are all an integral part of the European community,” he said.

It is not yet clear what such a special procedure would look like, and whether European leaders would agree to a fast-track option. The decision to add new countries to the EU lies with established member countries, which don’t always agree with the Commission’s views.

European Council President Charles Michel on Monday said that there were “different opinions” among member countries on the matter, AFP reports.

Since 2017, Ukraine has been part of an Association Agreement with the EU, in which the two agreed to align their economies in areas such as workers’ rights, and deepen political ties. Ukraine is also part of the bloc’s Eastern Partnership and European Neighborhood Policy.

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