The presidents of eight member states of the European Union, including Czech President Miloš Zeman, have called for Ukraine to be granted the European Union candidate status and for accession talks to commence immediately.
In a joint letter, the leaders of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the heads of the Baltic states, all insisted that Ukraine was deserving of recognition as a candidate for European Union membership, a position also shared by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who told Euronews on Monday that Ukraine belongs to Europe: “They are one of us, and we want them in.”
Current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Monday for his nation’s immediate accession to the European Union via a “new special procedure,” in the hope this would ward off Russia’s continued aggression against its neighbor.
“In this critical moment, we reiterate our full solidarity with Ukraine and its people,” the heads of the eight EU member states wrote in response, with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala implicitly showing his support for an accelerated approach.
“Although I am a supporter of standard procedures, we are not in a standard situation now,” Fiala told reporters, adding that it must be made abundantly clear to Russia that Ukraine is welcome in the European community of democratic states.
The European Parliament is expected to announce in a resolution to be adopted today that it supports Ukraine’s bid for candidate status, bringing the war-torn country one step closer to EU membership.