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Ukraine’s entry into the EU “must not last for years”, pleads Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukraine does not want to enter the EU “in several years or decades”, Volodymyr Zelensky said on his Telegram feed, quoted by the Italian agency Adnkronos on July 1. Reacting to Ursula von der Leyen’s address to Ukrainian MPs, the Head of State felt that kyiv should meet European criteria “perfectly”.

“Today with the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada [le Parlement ukrainien] and the Prime Minister, we signed a joint statement as a signal of unity from all branches of government to underline our determination to achieve the strategic goal of making Ukraine fully a member of the EU,” said Volodymyr Zelensky. As a reminder, Ukraine’s application for EU membership was signed on the fifth day following the start of the special military operation launched by Russia on February 24.

“We have been candidates for 115 days. And our path to EU membership doesn’t have to take years or decades. We must travel this road in speed. To do our part of the work in a perfect way, so as to allow our friends in the European Union to take another historic decision for us”, added the Ukrainian president.

Also on July 1, the President of the European Commission had urged kyiv to equip itself with a legislative arsenal to fight against corruption in the country, clearly indicating that “there will be a long way to go” to fully join the Union. However, she assured Ukraine of the support of the Twenty-Seven.

A week earlier, Ukraine had been granted the official status of candidate to the European Union, along with Moldova. In April, AFP noted that several European countries – such as Belgium, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands – were “reserved” about the future inclusion of Ukraine. The possibility of speeding up kyiv’s accession procedure has also created strong differences. Germany, through the voice of its Chancellor Olaf Scholz, had shown itself unfavorable to the granting of a “shortcut” to Ukraine with a view to joining the EU which, according to him, n is not ‘a matter of a few months or a few years’. In France, the Minister Delegate for European Affairs Clément Beaune had judged that Ukraine’s entry into the EU would take “probably 15 or 20 years”.

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