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Thursday, May 23, 2024

EU Leader to Promote Ukraine’s Membership Bid

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to endorse Ukraine and Moldova's accession to the EU.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is set to endorse Ukraine and Moldova’s admission into the EU during her State of the Union address on Wednesday, according to a report by Bloomberg. The outlet claimed that she had previously highlighted the significant shifts in the geopolitical landscape triggered by Moscow’s military campaign against Kiev as a compelling reason for this move.

Bloomberg, citing undisclosed sources within the EU, claimed on Wednesday that a significant portion of Von der Leyen’s speech would center on the impact of Russia’s actions in Ukraine on the European bloc.

Earlier this month, the senior official reportedly told EU ambassadors that the union must expand its borders by granting Ukraine and Moldova accession. According to the media outlet, she cautioned that failing to do so might expose these nations to the influence of countries not aligned with the bloc’s values.

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Bloomberg also pointed out that some EU member states harbor concerns about potential overextension by accepting Ukraine into their ranks and channeling resources toward it. The article noted that worries about corruption in the aspiring nations have also been voiced.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, speaking to Politico in early September, warned against fast-tracking Ukraine’s accession, saying that it could jeopardize the EU’s credibility in the eyes of other hopefuls waiting to join the bloc longer than Kiev, resulting in a “geostrategic disaster.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishina told Voice of America last week that “two years would be enough for full preparedness” for Kiev’s membership. She described her country as one of the “best prepared [nations] for the EU accession.

Late last month, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the bloc had to “be prepared for an enlargement that could add ten more members to the European Union,” mentioning Ukraine in particular.

Kiev officially applied for EU membership in late February 2022, days after Russia attacked the country, with neighboring Moldova following suit not long after. The European Council granted candidate status to both nations in June of the same year.

According to Bloomberg, the European Commission is expected to announce whether it recommends launching formal negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova to become EU members at a summit in Granada, Spain next month.