After the European Commission backed Ukraine for EU candidate status, all 27 leaders must support their candidacy at a Brussels summit next week. With Brussels’ support for Kyiv’s European Union, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it a historic achievement. Even though EU membership could still be years away, Zelensky said it would “certainly bring our victory closer’ against Russia.
In a statement by the European Commission, President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Friday, June 17th. She said, “The European Commission has found that Ukraine overall is well advanced in reaching the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; has continued its strong macro-economic record, while needing to continue ambitious structural economic reforms; and has gradually approximated to substantial elements of the EU acquis in many areas.”
“On this basis, the Commission recommends that Ukraine be given the perspective to become a member of the European Union. It should be granted candidate status on the understanding that steps are taken in a number of areas,” the statement added. However, on Friday, Russia’s foreign ministry accused Brussels of manipulating Ukraine after the EU Commission recommended the pro-Western country be granted candidate status for joining the bloc.