European Union foreign ministers have discussed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy’s peace plan “and how to support it in an ongoing manner and place it at the centre of the international discussion to build a just peace in Ukraine,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, according to a media statement by the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU.
“What we all want is for Ukraine to be a free and independent country as soon as possible, and sovereign within its internationally recognised borders,” said acting Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, who held a breakfast meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba prior to the meeting, held in Toledo on August 31.
The foreign ministers also discussed with Kuleba the prospects for Ukraine’s EU membership bid, the statement said.
The war in Ukraine has had the collateral effect of accelerating the EU enlargement process, a “merit-based process” whereby a state will become a member as and when it fulfils all the conditions, Borrell said.
At the same time, however, he considered it positive “to set an objective, a horizon to give political impetus to the process, but also for us, because we must also be prepared for an enlargement that is going to affect 10 new members of the EU”.
Ukraine is currently awaiting the European Commission’s progress report on the reform package proposed by Brussels as a prerequisite for starting the accession negotiations phase.
“We are waiting for the Commission’s report in October. It will be up to the Spanish presidency to take the historic decision to take the next steps to open these negotiations for Ukraine’s entry into the EU”, Albares said.
The Spanish presidency of the Council of the EU supports Ukraine’s future accession to the EU, a commitment expressed by the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, before the Ukrainian Rada in Kyiv on July 1, coinciding with the start of the Spanish semester.
(Photo: (c) European Union)
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