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Ukraine has historic opportunity to firmly link its future with EU - Borrell

Ukraine has historic opportunity to firmly link its future with EU - Borrell Photo: Head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Ukraine has a historic opportunity to firmly link its future with the European Union. The work on EU enlargement is not yet complete, according to a statement by the EU chief diplomat, Josep Borrell.

The statement was made by the chief European diplomat on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the largest expansion in the history of the European Union. At that time, 10 more countries joined the EU, which, according to Borrell, was a bold step after World War II.

"Yet, our work on the reunification of the continent is not complete. We knew it before 2022 and we know it even more today, with Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The past years millions of Europeans showed their willingness and hope to join the EU project," the diplomat noted.

Borrell stated that Ukraine, as well as the Western Balkans, Turkiye, Moldova, and Georgia, have a historic opportunity to firmly link their futures with the European Union. According to him, this is not only a transformative policy that strengthens security, justice, and democracy, but also an opportunity to improve the quality of life for Europeans.

He noted that future EU members are required to strengthen their democratic institutions and uphold human rights and fundamental freedoms. Borrell emphasized that the European Union itself is also undergoing self-reform to become stronger.

"Candidate countries and the EU have the historic opportunity to build a bigger, deeper and stronger European Union," Borrell added.

Ukraine's path to the EU

Following the onset of the full-scale invasion, positive changes have occurred regarding Ukraine's accession to the European Union. Ukraine has been granted candidate status for EU membership.

Additionally, in December 2023, EU leaders supported the start of negotiations with Ukraine regarding accession. However, this does not mean that Ukraine can join the EU in the near future. More time is needed to implement reforms and screen legislation to comply with EU norms.

How much time the preparatory process will take is currently unknown. Previously, the EU expressed the opinion that Ukraine could join the European Union within 6-11 years.