| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Ukraine meets 2 of 7 conditions to launch EU membership talks

A European Union report will this week say that Ukraine has met two out of seven conditions to start membership negotiations, two EU sources said, with the bloc’s executive set to highlight progress made despite the war triggered by Russia’s invasion.

In a highly symbolic move, the EU granted Ukraine formal membership candidate status a year ago – four months after Russia, Kyiv’s Soviet-era overlord, attacked the country amid its efforts to pursue integration with the West.

But the EU set seven conditions – including on judicial reform and curbing endemic corruption – to launch accession negotiations. Ukraine has called for talks to start this year.

The executive European Commission’s report is a milestone in that process, which supporters of Ukraine’s quest for swift EU accession hope will culminate in a decision by the bloc’s 27 member countries in December to start the talks with Kyiv.

Two senior EU officials who were briefed on the report, which has not been made public, said Ukraine has met two of the criteria by now. One of the officials said these related to judicial reform and media law, and added that the focus in the report was on the positives.

“There is progress. The report will be moderately positive,” said the person, who spoke under condition of anonymity. “It’s not about embellishing reality but recognising progress, there have been prominent anti-corruption cases to name, for example.”

Ukraine has in recent months gone after several cases of high-profile corruption, including detaining the head of its Supreme Court over a suspected $2.7 million bribe.

Beyond stronger anti-graft efforts, other criteria include reforms to Ukraine’s Constitutional Court and law enforcement, anti-money laundering measures as well as laws to rein in oligarchs and safeguard rights of national minorities.

  • Reuters