Ukraine will not become EU member while occupied by Russia, says EU official

11 January, 05:32 PM
Flags of Ukraine and the European Union (Photo:Dusan_Cvetanovic / pixabay)

Flags of Ukraine and the European Union (Photo:Dusan_Cvetanovic / pixabay)

It is not possible for Ukraine to become a member of the European Union while Russian troops occupy part of its territory, the European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said in an interview with German broadcaster DW on Jan. 9.

Timmermans said while Ukraine deserves all possible support to overcome the aggression and to make its choice after the win, joining the EU while parts of the country are under Russian occupation is not an option.

"No, it's impossible,” he said. “But the whole idea is to make sure that Ukraine comes out of this conflict victorious, sovereign, independent, free, and has the opportunity to make this choice itself. And I think Ukraine is fighting to make this happen. The European Union should support them with every means it has.”

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EU leaders granted Ukraine and Moldova candidate status on June 23. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the granting of this status a historical moment in relationships between Ukraine and the EU.

Ukraine and the European Union will hold a summit in Kyiv on Feb.3.

The European Council invited the European Commission to report on the candidate countries’ implementation of membership conditions, and promised to decide on further steps “as soon as all these conditions are fully met.”

In early December, the Minister for Climate and Europe at the German Foreign Office, Anne Lührmann, said Ukraine has made significant progress in implementing the reforms needed to become an EU member, so accession talks could start shortly.

At his speech at a meeting of the European Council on Dec. 15, Zelenskyy called on the EU to move further in Ukraine-EU rapprochement, as well as to speed up talks.

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