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The President of Ukraine, Volodymir Zelensky, put his signature on Monday on the application for the country’s membership in the European Union.
“This is a historic moment,” says a message from the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) on Telegram, where the Ukrainian leader can also be seen at the moment of signing the document.
Also present at the signing of the document were Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
“Ukrainians have long shown that we are an inalienable part of the European community. The time has come to seal it on paper,” Shmyhal noted.
The head of the Ukrainian government added that Kyiv will be grateful to its partners for “support and quick decisions” in the framework of the offensive launched by Russia against Ukraine.
“We appeal to the European Union for Ukraine’s immediate accession under a new special procedure,” Zelensky noted in a video message to the population.
On this point, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Sunday that Ukraine is “one of us and we want them” in the European Union, but she did not put a concrete deadline.
“Ukraine has clearly a European perspective, but now we have to fight against an aggression,” said today, for his part, the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, before participating in a virtual meeting of EU defense ministers to coordinate military assistance to Ukraine from the EU.
The Commission takes “between 15 and 18 months” to issue an opinion on granting candidate status, but this period may be longer or shorter, depending on political considerations, EU sources pointed out today, and stressed that the “indignation” of the Member States over the “unprecedented” Russian aggression against Ukraine and the mobilization of public opinion will also be “a factor that will determine the response” of the EU.