Zelenskyy thanks Bulgarian PM for backing Ukraine’s EU bid

Ahead of a European Council meeting that will discuss his country’s bid for accession talks with the European Union, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he had coordinated steps with Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, and thanked Bulgaria for its support.

“Expressed gratitude to Bulgaria for the readiness to support granting our country the status of a candidate country for EU membership,” Zelenskyy said in a message on Twitter on June 22.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a joint declaration on February 19 in support of Ukraine’s European perspective.

Matters to discussed by EU leaders at the June 23-24 European Council meeting the latest developments in relation to Russia’s war against Ukraine, including its impact on the global food security crisis.

They will also discuss continued EU support to Ukraine, which comprises economic, military, political and humanitarian support, a statement ahead of the meeting said.

Ukraine applied for EU membership a few days after the beginning of Russia’s current war on that country.

The European Council asked the European Commission for its opinions on the membership bids by Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, all three of which are to be discussed at the Council’s June meeting.

On June 17, the European Council said that it had found that “Ukraine overall is well advanced in reaching the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities; has continued its strong macro-economic record, demonstrating a noteworthy resilience with macroeconomic and financial stability, while needing to continue ambitious structural economic reforms; and has gradually approximated to substantial elements of the EU acquis in many areas”.  

The Commission recommended that Ukraine be given the perspective to become a member of the European Union.

“It should be granted candidate status on the understanding that steps are taken in a number of areas,” the Commission said.

Earlier this week, speaking ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that he was not aware of any EU country opposing Ukraine’s bid.

Petkov is scheduled to attend the June European Council meeting, irrespective of the outcome of the June 22 vote on a motion of no confidence in his government.

(Main photo: Petkov and Zelenskyy at a meeting in April 2022: Presidency of Ukraine)

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