| 17 July 2024, Wednesday |

Von der Leyen hails Kyiv’s ‘excellent progress’ in EU accession efforts

Days before a crucial assessment on Kyiv’s membership bid was due, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared on Saturday that Ukraine had made “excellent progress” towards EU entry.

She mentioned Kyiv’s judicial changes while standing next to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and remarked that despite the conflict with Russia, Ukraine has accomplished several milestones.

She remarked, “I must say you have made excellent progress,” at a joint press conference in Kiev.

“I know you are in the process of completing outstanding reforms. If this happens and, I am confident, Ukraine can reach its ambitious goal of moving to the next stage in the accession process.”

The EU assessment due on Wednesday is expected to say how far Ukraine has advanced in fulfilling various economic, legal, and other criteria to clear the way for accession talks in December.

Ukraine, which applied to join the European Union days after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, sees membership as a top priority.

The Ukrainian government has implemented all the steps required to ensure its readiness, Zelenskiy said, vowing to press on with reforms. He stressed efforts to fight corruption, improve transparency, and reduce the influence of oligarchs on the economy.

“This visit comes at a historical moment … when we are waiting on a political decision about Ukraine. This decision will have a pivotal impact not only for Ukraine but for entire Europe,” Zelenskiy said.

  • Reuters