Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed an official request for Ukraine to join the European Union on Monday.
Leaders of the European Union are set to discuss Zelenskiy’s request to grant Ukraine membership under a special procedure immediately, although officials are cool on the idea.
“Our goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal. I’m sure that’s fair. I am sure we deserve it,” Zelenskiy said in a video speech he posted on social media.
“I am confident that it is fair. I am confident we have deserved it. I am confident that all this is possible.”
Eastern European countries Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia have signed a petition on Monday saying Ukraine “deserves receiving an immediate EU accession perspective.”
EU officials, however, said that the move is unlikely for several reasons, including the fact that such a fast-track does not exist.
President Ursula von der Leyen said that while Ukraine is “one of us and we want them in”, the process of integrating the country with the bloc will be a long process.
The EU’s website says, “becoming a member of the EU is a complex procedure which does not happen overnight.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had reassured that Ukraine is a welcome part of the “house of Europe” even as it is not currently a member.
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