Germany's Scholz says EU accession ‘not a matter of a few months or years’ for Ukraine

19 May, 06:32 PM
Olaf Scholz (Photo:REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

Olaf Scholz (Photo:REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

Ukraine remains part of the "European family," but there will be no shortcut to EU accession for Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on May 19 in the Bundestag ahead of an extraordinary EU summit on Ukraine later this month.

Russia's war against Ukraine - the main events of May 19

The chancellor pointed to the Western Balkan countries that have been seeking EU membership for years, saying they should not be overlooked.

At the same time, Scholz called on the EU to set up a solidarity fund for rebuilding Ukraine after the war.

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"We as the European Union must pave the way for a solidarity fund fed by membership fees from the European Union and our international partners,” the chancellor said.

“That way we will help the Ukrainians to clear the destruction and to rebuild."

Earlier on May 19, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that Ukraine was not interested in the surrogates for EU candidate status offered by some European politicians.

"The strategic ambiguity on Ukraine's European perspective practiced by some EU capitals in the past years has failed and must end," Kuleba tweeted.

"It only emboldened (Russian dictator Vladimir) Putin. We do not need surrogates for EU candidate status that show second-class treatment of Ukraine and hurt feelings of Ukrainians."

On May 9, French President Emmanuel Macron when addressing the European Parliament said that Ukraine's accession to the EU could take a long time, so he suggested creating a "parallel organization" for countries seeking to join or leave the EU.

According to Macron, such a "European political community" would open space for democratic European countries for political cooperation, security, cooperation in energy, transport, investment, infrastructure, etc.

After such statement, Kuleba said that Macron's idea was not an alternative to the European Union for Ukraine and that the process of reforming the EU could complement the granting of candidate status to Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Feb. 28 signed an application for Ukraine's accession to the EU. He said that after the full-scale invasion of Russia, Ukraine will apply to the European Union for immediate accession under a new special procedure.

It was reported on March 21 that the European Commission had begun work ona conclusion on Ukraine's membership of the EU. According to Zelensky, the conclusion of the European Commission will be prepared within a few months, and will act as a recommendation for the EU Council to decide on its next steps.

During a visit to Kyiv on April 8, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the Ukrainian leader with a questionnaire on the country's compliance with the Copenhagen criteria, a necessary step in gaining EU candidate status. Georgia and Moldova received similar questionnaires a few days after Ukraine – on April 11.

Ukraine submitted the second part of the questionnaire to the European Commission on May 9.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said that Ukraine expects to acquire the status of a candidate for EU membership no later than June 2022.

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