EU leaders are splitting over Ukraine’s accession to the bloc after President Zelensky signed an official request to join.
European Union leaders may discuss the possibility of Ukrainian membership at an informal summit in March, a senior EU official said on Monday, adding the issue was important for Ukraine in discussions with Russia on ending the conflict.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that he had signed an official request for Ukraine to join the bloc.
“I think one of the reasons that this is important for President Zelensky is also potentially in some of the discussions with Russia on a way out,” the official said referring to talks to end the conflict.
But he added that no process had been started yet.
“On the application (of Ukraine for EU membership) I think it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves,” the official, who asked not to be named, said
“It obviously has not yet been received, but this whole question of the Ukraine situation is something that’s very much on the minds of the leaders.”
The bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said the immediate priority was to provide practical support to Ukraine to counter the Russia invasion, rather than discussing long-term issues which could take years.
“We have to provide an answer for the coming hours, not for the coming years,” he told reporters on Monday when asked about Ukraine’s membership of the EU.
“Ukraine has clearly a European perspective, but now we have to fight against an aggression.”
The chairman of EU leaders Charles Michel and the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen will meet French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Paris on Monday evening for talks.
“So I’m sure this will come up in those discussions. And of course we have quite imminently, on the 10th and 11th of March, an informal European Council meeting and I would imagine that the Ukraine topic, which is occupying many leaders’ minds, will feature at some point in those discussions,” the official said.
But while some EU leaders have already expressed support for Ukraine to join, others are shifting away from the idea.
Source: Daily Express