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Russia Ukraine conflict

EU chief invites bloc to grant Ukraine, Moldova candidate status

Published: Updated:

European Council President Charles Michel on Monday said he would invite the EU to give Ukraine and Moldova candidate status to join the bloc at a summit this week.

The comments come after the European Commission recommended granting Ukraine candidate status last week ahead of an EU Council gathering in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

“Now is the time to acknowledge that the future of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia lies within the EU. I will invite you to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova,” Michel wrote in an invitation letter to council members.

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“We will continue to provide Ukraine with strong humanitarian, military, economic and financial support.”

The EU's 27 member states must agree unanimously to grant candidate status. Discussions on admitting the prospective new countries will take place at the summit.

Announcing the commission's decision on Friday, the EU executive's head Ursula von der Leyen said Ukraine had “important work” to do to become a member.

But she concluded that “Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us for the European dream.”

The commission also recommended Moldova receiving candidate status.

But von der Leyen said fellow ex-Soviet state Georgia should be given a “European perspective” as it needed to implement more reforms to join the bloc.

Tens of thousands of Georgians took to the streets Monday in support of the country's membership to the European Union, days after the European Commission recommended deferring Tbilisi's candidacy.

The speed of the EU's response to Ukraine's membership application has been unprecedented as member states seek to support the country during Russia's invasion.

Read more:

Ukraine hails EU backing for membership as ‘historic’

EU recommends ‘candidate status’ for Ukraine

Ukraine’s road to becoming European Union member

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