If Ukraine is not given membership candidate status by the European Union in June, it means that Europe is trying to "trick us," Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with the Financial Times on May 10.
French President Emmanuel Macron and other European leaders have previously proposed some form of associate membership in the EU, but Kuleba said these could not be a substitute for full membership.
"If we don't get the candidate status, it means only one thing, that Europe is trying to trick us," he said.
"And we are not going to take it."
According to Kuleba, "Ukraine is the only place in Europe where people are dying for the values the EU is based on."
"And I think this should be respected.”
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 on a 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.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has said that Ukraine expects to acquire the status of a candidate for EU membership no later than June 2022.