Zelenskyy Reacts to EU's Decision to Open Negotiations on Ukraine's Accession

Thursday, 14 December 2023

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called the European Union's decision to begin accession talks with Ukraine a victory for all of Europe.

"This is a victory for Ukraine. A victory for all of Europe. A victory that motivates, inspires, and strengthens," Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter (X), commenting on the announcement by Charles Michel, the head of the European Council, about the opening of negotiations.

"The European Council's decision to open EU accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova has been adopted. I thank everyone who worked for this to happen and everyone who helped. I congratulate every Ukrainian on this day. I also congratulate Moldova and personally Maia Sandu. History is made by those who don’t get tired of fighting for freedom."

Previously, it was reported that the leaders of the European Union at the summit in Brussels approved the recommendation of the European Commission to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova.

All EU leaders must approve the start of negotiations, including Hungary, which has been opposing this decision until recently.

Key leaders attempted to persuade Orbán of the necessity of backing Ukraine, as reported by European Pravda on Thursday morning. Subsequently, the Hungarian prime minister declared that while he "sees no reason" for negotiations, he was not opposed to Ukraine joining the EU.

It is not yet known how Orbán was persuaded to lift his veto.

The decision of the EU leaders means that the European Commission, without further delay, begins to prepare the technical aspects of negotiations with Ukraine on membership (the so-called negotiation framework). The framework can be approved at the next EU summit in the spring of 2024 if it is recognised that Ukraine has fulfilled all the previous criteria of the European Commission.

In addition to membership negotiations, the European Council is considering three more important decisions related to Ukraine.

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