The European Commission said Wednesday it recommended member states open membership talks with Ukraine once the country addresses several outstanding reform issues.
The EU granted Ukraine candidate status last year, four months after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
EU leaders are expected to decide during a meeting in mid-December whether to accept the European Commission’s recommendation.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Wednesday that Ukraine “belongs to our European family.”
“Today’s decision is a clear recognition of Ukraine’s relentless reform efforts and a strong political will despite the tragic circumstances,” Borrell said. “It acknowledges the strong resilience and resolve of the Ukrainian society.”
The commission said the membership talks should be launched once Ukraine resolves several remaining issues regarding fighting corruption, adopting a lobbying law that meets EU standards and strengthening national minority safeguards.
The EU’s executive arm also recommended opening membership talks with Ukraine’s neighbor, Moldova, and to extend candidate status to Georgia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday he welcomed what he called a “strong statement by G7 foreign ministers reiterating the unwavering support for Ukraine even amid other global developments.”
Japan holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations, and G7 foreign ministers said in a joint statement Wednesday that their support for Ukraine in its battle against the Russian invasion “will never waver,” following meetings in Tokyo.__VOA News