Ukraine urges EU accession talks this 12 months forward of key summit

Ukraine will host a key summit with the European Union on Friday, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying he desires to carry talks “this 12 months” on his war-battered nation becoming a member of the bloc.

EU leaders granted candidate standing to Ukraine in June final 12 months, simply months after Russia despatched troops into the pro-Western nation. However the path to full membership stays lengthy, and will take years.

The bloc’s chief Ursula von der Leyen arrived in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Thursday with the EU’s most senior diplomat, Josep Borrell.

“I imagine that Ukraine deserves to begin negotiations on EU membership this 12 months,” Zelensky mentioned Thursday after talks with von der Leyen.

“Solely collectively a powerful Ukraine and a powerful European Union can defend the life we worth.”

Earlier this week, Ukraine expanded anti-corruption efforts by raiding the residences of an oligarch and a former inside minister, a key challenge for Kyiv to safe approval to hitch the EU.

Von der Leyen tweeted that Ukraine was “taking notable steps ahead to satisfy our suggestions, whereas on the similar time preventing an invasion”.

“Now we have by no means been nearer,” she mentioned, noting that the EU was “engaged on extending tariff-free entry to our market”.

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