‘Historic’: Zelensky hails Ukraine’s EU candidacy status


Zelensky said that “the future of Ukraine is within the EU”.


President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday hailed the European Union’s decision to grant Ukraine official EU candidate status as “a unique and historic moment”.

The expected decision, taken as Ukraine is under attack by Russian forces “is a unique and historic moment in Ukraine-EU relations”, Zelensky said on Twitter, adding that “Ukraine’s future lies within of the EU”.

“We just received the application. This is our victory,” Zelensky said in a 55-second video on his Instagram.

“We’ve been waiting for it for 120 days and for 30 years,” he said, referring to the number of days Ukraine has been at war since the February 24 Russian invasion and three decades since the Ukraine declared its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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He insisted that Ukraine would emerge victorious and then rest – having rebuilt the country.

“Or probably even – we will win, rebuild, enter the EU and then rest. Or probably we will not rest.”

In any case, he insisted that “we will win for sure”.

Zelensky reacted minutes after EU leaders agreed on Thursday to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, as bloc leader Charles Michel identified “a historic moment (which) marks a milestone crucial on your way to the EU”.

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The Ukrainian president, in a separate statement, said the move was “the starting point of a new story for Europe. A Europe without divisions.”

“Today you have taken one of the most important decisions for Ukraine for the 30 years of independence of our state,” he added in a message to the leaders of the 27 EU countries. .

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba responded to Michel’s announcement by saying in a short video with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that “today marks the start of a long journey that we will travel together.

“The Ukrainian people belong to the European family. The future of Ukraine is with the EU. We are united for peace. Ukraine will win. Europe will win.”

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal also hailed a “historic day” and a new stage in the construction of Europe.”

Zelensky’s bureau chief, Mikhailo Podolyak, predicted a move that would herald the end of the “Russian world” in Ukraine.

On Twitter, he acknowledged that deep reforms were needed before joining the bloc.

“(A) difficult path is ahead of us, but the main thing is proven: we are part of the civilized world and have separate paths with Zombieland”, a reference to Russia.

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