Ukraine has achieved “excellent progress” on its path towards EU membership, said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Saturday. Standing next to the president Volodymyr Zelenskyacknowledged that Ukraine had achieved many milestones despite the war with Russia, highlighting the judicial reforms from kyiv. Zelensky took advantage of the appointment to insist that the war “is not at a stalemate”deny Western pressures and proclaim that “we have no right to surrender” because if Ukraine gives up territories that “will only be the beginning”, just as it happened in the past.
“I know that you are in the process of completing pending reforms. I am sure that Ukraine will be able to achieve its ambitious goal of moving to the next stage in the accession process,” said the President of the Commission.
Von der Leyen’s visit to Kiev comes days before a key report on kyiv’s bid for accession and as Ukrainian troops face war fatigue following the stagnation of the front. Ukraine’s candidacy will be evaluated in a report to be published on November 8. The EU has already provided 83,000 million euros for Ukraine and plans to send another 3 billion euros by the end of this year.
Membership talks often take years and involve extensive legal, political and economic reforms. Ukraine’s candidacy received a boost on Thursday when German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbocksaid he was confident that the EU would move forward with Ukraine’s request next month.
For Ukraine, which applied to join the European Union days after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, entering the EU is a priority. Zelensky highlighted efforts to combat corruptionimprove the transparency and reduce the influence of oligarchs in the economy. “The reforms will continue,” he promised.