“EU from Lisbon to Luhansk”: highlights of EU ministers meeting in Kyiv

October 3,2023 1585
“EU from Lisbon to Luhansk”: highlights of EU ministers meeting in Kyiv

The European Union will soon expand from Lisbon to Luhansk. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated this during an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Kyiv.

“Ukraine’s future lies in the European Union, our community of freedom, and it will soon stretch from Lisbon to Luhansk. It [Ukraine] also broadens its path to the EU with every village, every metre that it liberates, and every metre where it saves its people,” Baerbock said. 

Ukraine is able to carry out amazing reforms against the background of terrible Russian aggression, the minister said. Baerbock also assured that European friends and partners will support Kyiv on this path.

A consensus was formed at the negotiating table during the ministers’ meeting on whether to accept Ukraine, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba.

“Everyone is determined to move forward with maximum speed, considering all the reforms that Ukraine has carried out, is carrying out and will carry out,” Kuleba said.

Ukraine will fulfill all seven key recommendations of the European Commission for the opening of membership negotiations. “We expect they will be evaluated honestly, transparently, without additional conditions. And the atmosphere shows we have a consensus on this issue,” Kuleba concluded.

It is entirely possible to start negotiations on membership this year, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. “And today I once again heard at meetings and negotiations that this is absolutely possible. Ukraine will definitely fulfill its part of the work: 7 recommendations of the European Commission. It is very important that there is a similar readiness for a political decision regarding Ukraine. Regarding the start of negotiations from the side of the EU: all member states,” Zelenskyy said.

Ukraine will become a full member of the EU. The concept of “partial or 35% membership” in the EU does not exist, stressed Josep Borrell, the top diplomat of the European Union.

“Membership is membership. I don’t understand where this [talk about an alternative option for full membership – ed.] comes from,” Borrell said.

The ninth meeting of the Ukraine-EU Association Council, which monitors progress in implementing the Association Agreement, will be held in December. Prime Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Shmyhal announced this after a meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.