Zelenskyy says decision to start talks on Ukraine’s EU accession must be approved

Zelenskyy says decision to start talks on Ukraine’s EU accession must be approved

Relevant legislation related to package to open talks on Kyiv’s membership must be passed by parliament, says Ukrainian president

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Wednesday that the decision to start talks on his country’s accession to the EU must be approved by the end of the year, according to the Ukrainian presidency.

“At the end of the year, the decision to start negotiations on the accession of our country must be approved by the European Council, and there is no alternative to this,” Zelenskyy said in a meeting with the heads of foreign diplomatic institutions of Ukraine.

He said Ukraine would be ready for the process and all relevant legislation related to the package to open negotiations on Kyiv’s membership must be passed by parliament.

“The quality of the deputies' work on this package is a matter of national security, since the EU is economic and institutional security for Ukraine. At the same time, Ukraine is a security issue for the EU, since any uncertainty regarding our country is a weakness.

“And weakness tempts Russia to be aggressive and try to fill with its presence the space in which there is not enough cooperation and the institutions of the EU are not enough,” said Zelenskyy.

Regarding NATO, Zelenskyy said Ukraine “removed the taboo” on its membership in the alliance.

“There is an awareness that Ukraine will be in NATO, and it is only a matter of time. A new tool is already working -- the Ukraine-NATO Council, and precisely as an integration tool,” he said.

He also said preparations should already be underway for the next NATO summit in 2024 in Washington, indicating that it can become “historic” for Ukraine and the bloc.

“Security is always a joint effort, and by December of this year, we must lay the foundation for such a joint effort. The task of ambassadors in NATO countries is to work for the consolidation of all the capitals of the Alliance around common security priorities,” he said.​​​​​​​

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