The presidents of eight central and eastern European nations on Monday called on European Union member states to immediately grant Ukraine a EU candidate country status and open membership talks according to an open letter published on Monday.
“We, the Presidents of the EU member states: the Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Poland, the Slovak Republic, and the Republic of Slovenia strongly believe that Ukraine deserves receiving an immediate EU accession perspective,” the letter said.
European Union leaders may discuss the possibility of Ukrainian membership at an informal summit in March, a senior EU official said on Monday, adding the issue was important for Ukraine in discussions with Russia on ending the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Monday that he had signed an official request for Ukraine to join the bloc.
“I think one of the reasons that this is important for President Zelenskiy is also potentially in some of the discussions with Russia on a way out,” the official said referring to talks to end the conflict.
But he added that no process had been started yet.
“On the application (of Ukraine for EU membership) I think it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves,” the official, who asked not to be named, said.
“It obviously has not yet been received, but this whole question of the Ukraine situation is something that’s very much on the minds of the leaders.”
The bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said the immediate priority was to provide practical support to Ukraine to counter the Russia invasion, rather than discussing long-term issues which could take years.
Cover Image: Roberta Metsola Twitter