EU welcomes Ukrainian bid
The EU has welcomed Ukraine’s application to join its ranks, the president of its parliament president outlined, on Tuesday, as Kiev pursues its long-stated goal of membership amid a Russian military attack on the country.
Addressing an extraordinary plenary session, Roberta Metsola detailed which steps the bloc is taking to aid the former Soviet Republic as Moscow invades.
She claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “oligarchs and those who bankroll him should no longer be able to use their purchasing power to hide behind a veneer of respectability, in our cities, communities or our sports clubs.”
The official also expressed the need to pivot away from relying on Russian gas, explaining that “we need to redouble our efforts to diversify our energy systems toward a Europe that is no longer at the behest of autocrats. This will put our energy security on stronger footing.”
Metsola insisted that “as our Resolution clearly states, we welcome Ukraine’s application for candidate status and we will work towards that goal. We must face the future together.” She also added that the parliament recognizes Kiev’s “European perspective.”
Appearing via video-link at the meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for his country's immediate incorporation into the 27-member state bloc. “Without you, Ukraine will be wiped out,” he warned.
“We have shown our strength, we have shown that we are like you. Show that you are with us. Prove that you are Europeans,” Zelensky implored.
European Council President Charles Michel said that Kiev’s application is “legitimate,” and said it must be considered “seriously in these difficult times.” However, joining the bloc is often a long process, with candidates having to meet specific criteria to become a member.
Zelensky inked the formal accession bid on Monday, and said in a video address that Kiev’s “goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal. I’m sure that’s fair. I am sure we deserve it.”
In 2019, an amendment was adopted into Ukraine’s constitution enshrining EU and NATO membership as one of the country's strategic objectives under then-President Petro Poroshenko. Moscow has repeatedly voiced its concerns about its possible accession into the US-led military group.