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Ukraine's EU accession: Kyiv and Brussels prepare negotiating teams and package of solutions

Ukraine's EU accession: Kyiv and Brussels prepare negotiating teams and package of solutions Photo: negotiating teams and a package of decisions on Ukraine's accession to the EU are being prepared (Getty Images)

Ukraine and the European Union are preparing a package of decisions and teams to start negotiations on the country's accession to the European Union in March. This was stated by the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Olha Stefanishyna.

She noted that this week she had talks with Oliver Varhelyi, the EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy. According to her, the parties are preparing negotiating teams and a comprehensive package of decisions for March 2024, including the adoption of a negotiation framework, confirmation of Ukraine's fulfillment of the 4 points from the enlargement report, and "screening work."

"We agreed that we will present negotiating teams, and they will start preparing for the formal opening of negotiations. I hope to meet with him (Varhelyi. - Ed.) in a month, and we will have a specific schedule," said Stefanishyna.

Negotiations for Ukraine's EU accession

On November 8, 2023, the European Commission recommended to the European Council to start accession negotiations with Ukraine to the European Union. Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, noted that Kyiv had implemented 90% of the necessary reforms to start negotiations.

On December 14, a European Council summit took place in Brussels, during which leaders of EU member states approved the start of accession negotiations for Ukraine and Moldova to the EU. During the voting, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán left the meeting room but did not block the decision. He was compelled to take such an action by the Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz.

However, Hungary intends to block the negotiations, claiming potential "damages" to Budapest.

On January 13, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, visited Kyiv for an official visit. During the meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, Le Drian promised to support not only EU integration but also the adherence to specific timelines on this path.

By the end of winter, the European Commission may provide an assessment of Ukraine's progress in implementing Eurointegration reforms necessary for EU accession. The beginning of negotiations on the country's future membership in the community will depend on this evaluation.