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EU grants Ukraine candidate status | Russia-Ukraine war News

EU grants Ukraine candidate status | Russia-Ukraine war News

The European Union agreed to put Ukraine on a path toward EU membership, acting with uncharacteristic speed and unity to pull the embattled country further away from Russia’s influence and bind it more closely to the West.

Meeting at a summit in Brussels on Thursday, leaders of the EU’s 27 nations mustered the required unanimous approval to grant Ukraine candidate status. That sets in motion a membership process that could take years – or even decades.

The move comes just one day short of the four-month anniversary of President Vladimir Putin ordering his troops into Ukraine for what Russia insisted is not a war, but a “special military operation”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted his gratitude and declared: “Ukraine’s future is within the EU.”

“Today is a good day for Europe,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter.

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The EU also gave candidate status to the tiny country of Moldova, another former Soviet republic that borders Ukraine.

Ukraine applied for membership less than a week after Moscow invaded on February 24. Thursday’s decision was unusually rapid for the EU and its go-slow approach to expansion. But the war and Ukraine’s request for fast-track consideration lent urgency to the country’s cause.

To gain EU membership, countries must meet a detailed host of economic and political conditions, including a commitment to…

Read full article on www.aljazeera.com