EU backs Ukraine's aspiration to join EU and will continue supporting it

25 March 2022, 12:13 PM

The European Union supports the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine and invited the European Commission to submit its opinion on Ukraine’s application for EU membership, the European Council said in a press release after the first day of an EU summit in Brussels on March 24.

EU leaders stressed that the European Union will continue to provide coordinated political, financial, material and humanitarian support.

"The European Union stands by Ukraine and its people, and the European Council reaffirms the Versailles Declaration, acknowledging the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine, as stated in the Association Agreement," the report says.

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"The European Council reiterates its invitation to the Commission to submit its opinion in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties."

The European Council also stressed that the EU has adopted significant sanctions that are having a massive impact on Russia and Belarus, and that it remains ready to move quickly with further coordinated and robust sanctions.

It called on all countries to align with those sanctions and stressed that any attempts to circumvent sanctions or to aid Russia by other means must be stopped.

It is also noted that, bearing in mind the destruction and enormous losses brought upon Ukraine by Russia's military aggression, the European Union is committed to providing support to the Ukrainian government for its immediate needs and, once the Russian onslaught has ceased, for the reconstruction of a democratic Ukraine.

"To that end, the European Council agrees to develop a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund, invites its international partners to participate, and calls for preparations to start without delay," the document says.

"It calls on the Commission to continue to provide technical assistance in order to help Ukraine implement necessary reforms."

On Feb. 28, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine is appealing to the EU for immediate accession under a new special procedure. He signed the relevant application on Feb. 28.

Earlier, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, confirmed that she supports Ukraine's accession to the European Union. The Prime Minister of Slovakia, Eduard Heger, also said that after the start of the military invasion by Russia, Ukraine deserves "a special track for integration into the European Union." Poland has supported the "fast-tracking" of Ukraine's accession to the bloc as well.

On March 1, the European Parliament backed the European aspirations of Ukraine, passing a resolution that calls on EU institutions to work towards granting the country EU candidate status.

Following Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova submitted applications for EU membership.

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