European Union Sets Date for Start for Member Negotiations with Ukraine, Moldova

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The European Union announced on Friday that it will begin accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova to join the 27-member political and economic bloc starting next week. All 27 members agreed to the Ukraine and Moldova joining the European Union.

Negotiations will begin for both countries on Tuesday in Luxembourg, the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union said on X.

The move comes at a critical time for both nations with Ukraine in the middle of an invasion by Russia and Moldova facing a Russian-led insurgence by a breakaway state.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the European Union for its “robust political will” to begin negotiations with his country despite the current Russian aggression.

“We look forward to next week,” Zelensky said on X. “We congratulate our Moldova friends on this significant step toward our shared European future. We will make the EU stronger together. I am grateful to everyone on our team who worked hard to make this historic step a reality.

“Millions of Ukrainians and indeed generations of our people are realizing their European dream. Ukraine is returning to Europe, where it has belonged for centuries, as a full-fledged member of the European community.”

Moldova President Maia Sandu confirmed on social media that she also signed a decree allowing accession negotiations with the European Union to move forward.

“Becoming an EU member is our path to peace, prosperity and a better life for all citizens,” Sandu said on X. “Wishing our delegation every success as they officially launch negotiations in Luxembourg next week.”

The European Union announced earlier this month that Moldova and Ukraine both met the requirements to join the group. All 27 countries must agree to allow them in. Hungary and its President Viktor Orban are expected to be the main roadblock for both countries.

Orban, who has maintained a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, had criticized Ukraine for its past corruption.

Source : UPI