LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) -Ukraine hopes for positive signals on its bid to join the European Union, the president and foreign minister of the former Soviet republic said on the seventh day of war waged on them by Russia.
Ukrainians said on Wednesday they were battling on in the port of Kherson, the first sizeable city Russia claimed to have seized, as air strikes and bombardment caused devastation in cities that Moscow’s forces have failed to capture.
“We discussed the current situation on the battlefield and diplomatic efforts. Waiting for the positive signals about Ukraine’s membership in the EU,” President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said after a call with European Council President Charles Michel.
Zelenskiy’s foreign minister said Ukraine was working to quickly finalise accession procedures but that everything depended on political will of the 27-nation bloc.
“Now everything is possible,” said Dmytro Kuleba. “The EU has shown itself to be able to make fundamental decision when it had political will. Now is the time to make such a decision on our membership.”
Three other former Soviet republics are already members of the EU, where unanimity is required to allow new ones in. The accession process usually takes years and requires meeting strict criteria from economic stability to eliminating corruption and respecting liberal human rights.
While Ukraine’s neighbours in the EU publicly offered help in pushing for Kyiv to get closer to membership, such a move is all but certain to meet scepticism or opposition in some other capitals in the Union.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Pavel Polityuk; Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by John Stonestreet and Jonathan Oatis)