Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the 20th (local time) that “Russia is very nervous about our activities” in relation to the decision on whether to become a candidate for membership in the European Union (EU).
President Zelensky said in his regular video address to the public on the same day, “This week will be busy for a few days. We are moving forward for a major decision in the EU Parliament to be adopted on Friday,” he said.
It is interpreted to the effect that Russia will closely monitor the situation in which Ukraine’s EU candidate status is decided at the EU summit scheduled for two days in Brussels, Belgium, on the 23rd and 24th.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a speech at the International Economic Forum (SPIEF) presided over in St. Petersburg on the 18th, implied that he had no objection to Ukraine’s promotion of EU accession, saying, “It is the sovereign decision of all countries whether or not to join the Economic Cooperation.” did.
However, President Putin vehemently opposes Ukraine’s accession to NATO, arguing that it directly threatens Russia’s security. NATO’s eastward movement is cited as the main reason for the invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine requested EU accession through a fast track procedure on February 28, four days after the invasion of Russia.
If the 27 member states unanimously approve it at the summit meeting on the 23rd and 24th, Ukraine will be granted the status of a candidate for membership and enter into full-scale accession negotiations. After ratification by the EU Parliament and ratification by each of the 27 member states, it officially becomes a member of the EU.
It takes an average of four years or more to join the EU after obtaining candidate country status, but Ukraine expects this period to be shortened through the fast track.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recommended the granting of candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova on the 17th. The EU’s permanent chairman, Charles Michel, also requested that Ukraine and Moldova be granted candidate country status on the same day, raising expectations.