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Ukraine, the road to the EU. Ursula von der Leyen on Ukraine’s application for accession: common position “27” will be a challenge

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Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, that working out a common position in the European Council on Ukraine’s admission to the European Union “which will reflect the scale of this historic decision will be a challenge”. “Ukraine has achieved a lot in the last 10 years and there is still a lot to do,” she added.

President of the European Commission on Saturday in Kiev Ursula von der Leyen met on Saturday with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. The talks focused mainly on Ukraine’s application for admission to the EU. The European Commission is to issue an opinion soon, which will be the basis for discussions by the leaders of “27” at the June EU summit in Brussels. The decision on this matter must be unanimous.

Von der Leyen and Zelenskiy at the conference in KievPAP / EPA / SERGEY DOLZHENKO

The war in Ukraine. Live coverage on tvn24.pl >>>

Von der Leyen: I hope that in 20 years we will be able to say that we did the right thing

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– Developing a common position in the European Council that reflects the scale of this historic decision will be a challenge. I hope that in 20 years, when we look back, we can say that we did the right thing. Ukraine has achieved a lot in the last 10 years and much remains to be done. Our opinion will reflect that exactly. The way to EU is well known. It is based on achievements, von der Leyen told reporters on her return from a visit to Ukraine.

Von der Leyen in Kiev spent most of her time talking to Zelenskiy, including face to face. She also met with the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal. On Saturday afternoon, she visited a military hospital in Kiev, where she met wounded soldiers. Before leaving the city, she also visited Maidan in Kiev.

The talks with Zelensky concerned primarily the evaluation of Ukraine’s application for EU membership. However, EU countries are divided on this issue. On one side is the “skeptical” camp, with the Netherlands, BelgiumSweden, Denmark and Portugal. On the other side of the barricade there are countries that are positive about granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership. These are the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, but also FinlandItaly, Spain or Greece.

the European Commission announces that it will try to find a compromise on this matter.

Ursula von der Leyen is back in Kiev Twitter / @ vonderleyen

The attitude of the European Commission to the application of Ukraine

The EC believes that when assessing Ukraine’s application, it should be taken into account how positively this country has changed over the last 10 years. He is of the opinion that the assessment of Ukraine’s application should be comprehensive, because he wants the countries that will make the decision to face hard arguments. At the same time, he emphasizes that the war cannot be an excuse for Ukraine when it comes to meeting certain criteria of the EU accession process, but it must be taken into account.

In this context, the European Commission indicates, inter alia, on the development of digitization, which is a weapon in the fight against corruption. Ukraine has made significant progress in the fight against corruption, according to EU officials, as shown by international rankings. The EC also draws attention to the resilience of the administration in the face of Russian aggression.

The talks with Zelensky also concerned the reconstruction of Ukraine after the war. In this context, the EC counts not only on the EU countries, but also on external partners, primarily the USA and Great Britain. Von der Leyen emphasized the need to include reforms in the reconstruction plan, including the energy transformation.

The talks also focused on problems with grain exports from Ukraine. After Russia blocked the Black Sea ports, Ukrainian silos contain 20 million tons of grain, which cannot be exported from the country. The current season is expected to bring a harvest of 60 million tonnes. Therefore, exports should amount to approx. 5 million tonnes per month, so that the warehouses can be regularly filled, while at present it is several times smaller. Zelenskiy was to inform the head of the European Commission about possible new ways of exporting agricultural products from Ukraine, including water canals to Romania. Work is still underway on this matter.

Main photo source: SERGEY DOLZHENKO / EPA / PAP

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