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28 Feb, 2022 10:44

Ukraine ‘deserves’ emergency EU accession – Zelensky

By defending the European Union from a Russian attack, Ukrainians are paying for a place in the EU, the president has said
Ukraine ‘deserves’ emergency EU accession – Zelensky

Ukrainians fighting against the Russian offensive are protecting Europe and thus deserve to see their country join the European Union, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday in a video address.

“Ukrainians have shown to the world who we are,” the president said. “Europeans realize that our soldiers are fighting for our nation, and also for the entire Europe. For peace for everyone, for every nation of the EU.”

The sacrifices made by Ukrainians give the country “every right” to demand a place in the EU, Zelensky said, adding that his nation could be accepted into the union “immediately” under a new emergency procedure.

I am certain that would be just. I am certain we deserve it. I am certain that can be done.

Ukraine set EU and NATO membership as foreign policy goals in its constitution. Before the current crisis, Brussels repeatedly told Kiev that it was not ready to join, and demanded that the government implement numerous reforms. Kiev complained that pressure from Russia left it with no resources to meet those demands and wanted to receive a definitive deadline for membership in both organizations.

Russia attacked Ukraine last Thursday, citing the need to “demilitarize” Ukraine now, before an armed conflict would be unleashed on its territory. Kiev accused Moscow of “unprovoked” aggression.