EU officially agrees to look at requests to join from Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova
The European Union agreed Monday to consider requests to join the bloc by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, European neighbors of Russia, amid Moscow’s recent invasion of Ukraine.
The EU is known for its years-long process of validating new member states, often lasting up to a decade.
Ambassadors for the EU said that their first step is to ask the group’s executive to give an opinion on the three applications, The Agence France-Presse reported.
After the executive opinion is given, member states of the commission are required to vote unanimously in favor of each new nation’s candidacy for membership.
Leaders of the EU will begin to discuss the three applications as soon as this week at a summit in France about the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Western response.
Ukraine has asked the EU to fast-track its membership process during the war. The country has also pleaded to become part of the NATO alliance during the conflict, a request against which the alliance has shown resistance.
Some EU member states have endorsed Ukraine’s membership in the commission despite others’ resistance to the idea based on fears of Russian conflict with the West.
Pro-European Union protests in Ukraine in the winter of 2013-14, in response to a choice by Ukraine’s then-president to distance the country from the bloc, preceded Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.