19 May 2022 17:22

Granting EU candidate country status to Ukraine among key priorities for Zelensky - Ukrainian presidential office chief Yermak

KYIV. May 19 (Interfax-Ukraine) - The granting of European Union candidate country status to Ukraine is among key subjects in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's negotiations with European leaders, Ukrainian presidential office chief Andriy Yermak said.

"We understand that this is a lengthy process. But Ukrainians deserve to have the European Union take the first step already now. The granting of candidate country status as early as in June should be such a step. This subject is among the key ones during Zelensky's negotiations with European leaders and a priority in our entire team's work," Yermak wrote on social media on Thursday.

Zelensky has just received a letter from North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski expressing support for and solidarity with Ukraine, Yermak said. Pendarovski said the EU's enlargement process should not stop at the Western Balkans and supported granting candidate country status to Ukraine as early as at the European Council meeting in June, he said.

"This support from a country that received candidate country status back in 2005 but is still struggling for the right to begin negotiations on accession is very important to Ukraine. We also wish our North Macedonian friends success in acquiring EU membership," Yermak said.