As Ukraine bids for EU membership, Ukrainian leaders express optimism: Live updates

  • In Business
  • 2022-06-23 11:33:45Z

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, said Wednesday she's "100%" certain all EU nations will approve Ukraine's candidacy for membership as early as Thursday, the first day of the European Union leaders summit in Belgium.

The EU's executive arm threw its weight behind Ukraine's candidacy last week. Stefanishyna described the European Commission's endorsement as "a game-changer" that had taken the ground out from under "the legs of those most hesitating."

EU candidate status doesn't mean Ukraine is guaranteed membership and does not provide the military guarantees provided by NATO membership.

Stefanishyna told The Associated Press that she thinks Ukraine could be an EU member within years, not the decades that some European officials have forecast. "We're already very much integrated in the European Union," she said, adding: "We want to be a strong and competitive member state, so it may take from two to 10 years."

Ukraine has already implemented about 70% of EU rules, norms, and standards, European officials have said. They warned that the country needs political and economic reforms, pointing to corruption.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said gaining EU membership would be a "crucial moment" for Ukraine.

USA TODAY ON TELEGRAM: Join our Russia-Ukraine war channel to receive updates straight to your phone

Latest developments:

►Germany activated the second phase of its three-stage emergency plan for natural gas supplies Thursday, saying Europe's biggest economy faces a "crisis" and warning that storage targets for the winter are at risk due to dwindling deliveries from Russia.

►The conflict in Ukraine has "sounded an alarm for humanity," Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday. China has refused to condemn Russia's invasion while criticizing sanctions brought against Moscow.

►EU leaders will debate Thursday a recommendation for the European Commission to grant Moldova - a tiny, non-NATO country that borders Ukraine - EU candidate status.

Estonian PM Kaja Kallas says don't play down Russia

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas has told The Associated Press that the West shouldn't underestimate Russia's military capabilities in Ukraine, saying Moscow is in it for the long haul as the war enters its fifth month.

Kallas said in an interview Wednesday that Europe should ensure that those committing war crimes and attempted genocide are prosecuted, noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin escaped punishment for annexing the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and supporting an insurgency in eastern Ukraine's Donbas region that killed over 14,000 people even before this year's war began.

"I've heard talks that, you know, there is no threat anymore because they have exhausted themselves. No, they haven't," she said of the Russian military, which failed to take Kyiv in the early stages of the war and is now concentrating its firepower in the east.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ukraine updates: EU-wide support expected for candidacy to join bloc


More Related News

Putin scrambling to find any allies to support him, says Ukrainian official
Putin scrambling to find any allies to support him, says Ukrainian official
  • World
  • 2022-07-02 15:13:00Z

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has been inept in finding international allies in his full-scale war against Ukraine, Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo...

Russia barrage on Ukraine shows no sign of letting up following apartment building strike: Live updates
Russia barrage on Ukraine shows no sign of letting up following apartment building strike: Live updates

Russia claims it only hits civilian targets that the Ukrainian military had taken over for use as a command post, weapons depot or other operations.

She helped get Trump elected. Now she
She helped get Trump elected. Now she's raising crypto for Ukraine.

WASHINGTON - Brittany Kaiser burst into the limelight as a controversial Republican kingmaker - a young Chicagoan who, while running business development for...

Russians press assault on eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk
Russians press assault on eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk

Ukrainian fighters have spent weeks trying to defend the city and to keep it from falling to Russia, as neighboring Sievierodonetsk did a week ago.

Russians press assault on eastern Ukrainian city
Russians press assault on eastern Ukrainian city
  • World
  • 2022-07-02 09:03:01Z

Russian forces are pounding the city of Lysychansk and its surroundings in an all-out attempt to seize the last stronghold of resistance in eastern Ukraine's...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Business