Ukraine and Moldova accepted as candidates to join European Union | worldnews

EU leaders have accepted Ukraine and Moldova as candidates to join the bloc, opening a path to membership that’s likely to take a number of years.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that it was a historic moment and a “good day for Europe”.

“Your countries are part of our European family,” she posted.

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy said: “Sincerely commend EU leaders decision”, adding that “Ukraine’s future is within the EU”.

The move is likely to anger Russia which has long opposed the prospect of Ukraine joining the EU and becoming closer with the West.

Ms von der Leyen said the decision “strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, in the face of Russian imperialism. And it strengthens the EU.

“Because it shows once again to the world that we are united and strong in the face of external threats.”

Georgia has also taken a step towards joining the union.

European Council President Charles Michel tweeted that the council had recognized “the European perspective of Georgia and is ready to grant candidate status once the outstanding priorities are addressed”.

“Congratulations to the Georgian people. A historic moment in EU-Georgia relations: Georgia’s future lies within the EU,” he said.

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