European Council President Charles Michelle announced tonight (Thursday) that Ukraine has been accepted as a candidate country for EU membership. Michel said that the 27 member states of the union approved the Ukrainian request, noting that Moldova’s request was also accepted. “This is a historic moment,” he tweeted.
Ukraine’s final accession to the EU can only be done at the end of a long process of economic and social reforms that it will be required to implement. This process will take at least a few years.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zalansky this evening welcomed the decision by EU member states, saying it was a unique and historic moment in Kyiv’s relations with Europe. In recent days it has been clear that the EU countries will approve the Ukrainian request, and Zelsky said yesterday that for his people it is a matter of “coming out of the darkness into the light.”