The application to join the European Union, has been signed by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Prior to the Russian invasion, Zelensky had pushed the EU to allow Ukraine to join the bloc under a special route.
“Our goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal…I am sure we deserve it,” he said.
Zelensky uploaded images of himself signing the EU application, a mostly symbolic move that might take years to materialise and is unlikely to please Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has long accused the West of attempting to entice Ukraine into its circle.
Under the shadow of Putin’s nuclear threats, and with Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine encountering unexpectedly stiff resistance, Russian and Ukrainian officials met on Day Five of the war.
Early Monday night, a top adviser to Ukraine’s president said that the first round of talks with Russia had ended and that both delegations had returned home for consultations in their capitals.
Mykhailo Podolyak gave few details except to say that the talks, held near the Ukraine-Belarus border, were focused on a possible cease-fire and that a second round could take place “in the near future.”
Ukraine is still a long way from meeting the requirements for EU membership, and the EU’s 27-nation union is overcrowded and unlikely to take on new members anytime soon.
Furthermore, any addition to the EU must be unanimously authorised, and several member states have lengthy approval processes.
Overall, there is a consensus that Ukraine’s deep-seated corruption will make it difficult for it to gain EU recognition.
“We want them in the European Union,” EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview with Euronews on Sunday.