Ukraine has completed a questionnaire which will form a starting point for the European Union to decide on membership for Kyiv, Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office, said.
A day after officially signing a request to join the trading bloc, Zelenskyy made an impassionate speech to European leaders, calling on them to “prove” their solidarity with Ukraine. In a video address to the European Parliament, he said, “We have proven our strength. We have proven that, at a minimum, we are exactly the same as you. So, prove that you are with us. Prove that you will not let us go. Prove that you are, indeed, Europeans.”
Listen: The official Ukrainian translator for the European Parliament appears to hold back tears as President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers a speech on the Russian invasion to MEPs. 🇪🇺🇺🇦
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European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen handed the questionnaire to Zelenskyy during her visit to Kyiv on 8 April, 2022, pledging a speedier start to Ukraine's bid to become a member of the EU following Russia's invasion of the country.
"Today, I can say that the document has been completed by the Ukrainian side," Zhovkva told the Ukrainian public broadcaster on 17 April, 2022.
The European Commission will need to issue a recommendation on Ukraine's compliance with the necessary membership criteria, he added.
"We expect the recommendation ... to be positive, and then the ball will be on the side of the EU member states."
Zhovkva added that Ukraine expects to acquire the status of a candidate country for EU accession in June during a scheduled meeting of the European Council meeting.
The European Council is to meet 23 June, 2022 – 24 June, 2022, according to the Council's schedule on its website.
"Next, we will need to start accession talks. And once we hold those talks, we can already talk about Ukraine's full membership in the EU," Zhovkva said.
The membership process to the EU is a convoluted one. On Tuesday, an EU spokeswoman said that joining the bloc was a “complex and quite a lengthy process which usually takes years”. “As of today we neither accepted Ukraine’s application to join the EU nor do we have any special admission process underway,” she had said.
There are certain criteria in place for a nation to join the EU. It requires the prospective country to set up a free-market economy, adopt the Euro, and accept EU legislation.
With inputs from agencies