Prospect of joining the EU is part of support to Ukraine, French minister says
French Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune said he considered it necessary to grant Ukraine EU candidate status
EP reports, citing the minister's statement on France Info on June 16, while the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy arrived by train in Kyiv.
The minister was asked what France's position on the possible granting of candidate status to Ukraine after the positive conclusion of the European Commission on its application is.
"I think we need to open negotiations and grant candidate status. We have a special responsibility because France is still in the presidency (in the EU Council – ed.). Giving this signal, this prospect of accession is part of the support we have to give to Ukraine," said Clément Beaune.
He was asked whether it should be a normal or an accelerated procedure.
"We are talking about the future of Ukrainians who are under bombardment today. I think we need to give this signal to open talks, and I hope it can happen soon.
Of course, the negotiations take time," said Clément Beaune.
He noted that Ukraine would need to achieve European standards in many areas, from the rule of law to the level of economic development.
This process can take many years.
"I think it will not be a gift to Ukraine or the EU if we skip all these stages (of the standard procedure)," he said.
Denmark supports Ukraine's European integration, President's Office says
European Commission has made no decisions on Ukraine's candidate status
Also, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis visited Kyiv, where he will join the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy.
Earlier, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Ukraine met the criteria for candidate status, but there were still skeptics in Europe trying to find an alternative.
"I would like to thank more than 200 civil society and non-governmental organizations, and I'm told that it is the largest number of organizations in history to unite in an advocacy campaign and sign a letter to foreign governments that Ukraine should be granted candidate status in June," Kuleba emphasized.
The minister added that candidate status was the latest psychological barrier for EU skeptics. "I don't see any rational arguments from our skeptics," he said.
As reported by Rubryka, the European Parliament will recommend that the EU heads of state and government grant Ukraine the status of a candidate country for EU membership and purchase weapons for Ukraine to repel russian aggression.
The European Commission's opinion on Ukraine's, Georgia's, and Moldova's applications for EU membership is expected on June 17.