KYIV: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday (Jul 1) that his visit to Kyiv on the first day of Spain’s EU presidency showed the bloc’s “unequivocal” commitment to Ukraine’s bid to join the 27-nation bloc.
“Speaking of the European Union’s perspective on Ukraine’s EU accession, my being here on the first day of the six-month presidency … demonstrates a clear and unequivocal political commitment on the part of the community institutions in this respect,” he said in a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Ukraine applied for EU membership just five days after Russia’s invasion on Feb 24, 2022, and received candidacy status several months later on Jun 23 in a strong signal of support from Brussels.
It is hoping to begin formal negotiations this year on what it needs to do to firm up its membership bid.
Sanchez said the European Commission had recently issued an interim update on the status of Ukraine’s candidacy which showed “significant progress” in implementing the recommendations ahead of membership talks.
“I would like to congratulate Ukraine for the positive trend and encourage it to continue its path of reforms,” he said, indicating that a written report would be released in the autumn which would outline “the basis for further steps and decisions”.