UPDATE - EU should begin membership talks with Ukraine in June: Ursula von der Leyen

UPDATE - EU should begin membership talks with Ukraine in June: Ursula von der Leyen

EU Commission president says Ukraine has fulfilled all steps that were set out by Brussels to start accession talks

UPDATES WITH MORE COMMENTS BY VON DER LEYEN

By Anadolu staff

BERLIN (AA) - The European Union should begin membership talks with Ukraine in June, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday.

“Ukraine has fulfilled all the steps that we had set out, and this is why we believe the EU should begin accession talks with Ukraine already by the end of this month,” Leyen told the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin.

“Ukraine has done all these reforms while fighting the war. This is so outstanding. Thank you very much for being so reliable,” she said.

Ukraine applied for the EU membership in February 2022 and was granted the EU candidate status in June 2022. In December last year, the EU leaders gave the green light to open membership negotiations, but no date was set so far for the opening of the accession talks.

Von der Leyen also announced during her speech that the EU will begin transferring revenues from the Russian frozen assets to Ukraine next month.

“Around €1.5 billion from the windfall profits will become available in July: 90% of these funds will go to defense, 10% to reconstruction,” she said.

This topic will be further discussed during the G7 leaders summit this week, von der Leyen said, adding that they want to transfer these revenues quicker.

“We have always said that Russia must be held accountable for its crimes. And now, we are making Russia pay,” she stressed.

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