3 Feb 2023 18:52

President of European Council appreciates Ukraine's efforts toward joining EU

BRUSSELS. Feb 3 (Interfax) - Ukraine has done a great job in its efforts to approach accession to the European Union, President of the European Council Charles Michel said on Friday.

"There are huge efforts made by Ukraine," Michel said at a press conference following an EU-Ukraine summit.

Michel pointed out that there is an established procedure for admitting new countries to the EU, according to which, the leaders of the EU countries are supposed to decide by the end of the year what further steps have to be made with regard to Ukraine's application.

"We have to take a decision by unanimity. This is how it works," he said.

Until present, the EU countries have been able to reach compromises among themselves on issues related to Ukraine, he said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in explaining why no one can predict exactly when Ukraine might join the EU, "There are no rigid timelines."

The participants made a joint statement covering the key issues discussed at the summit, including military, financial, and humanitarian aid, reforms, the so-called Zelensky peace plan comprising ten points, and Ukraine's recovery and reconstruction.

"The EU recalled its commitment to providing, along with partners, support to Ukraine's fast recovery and reconstruction, including rebuilding of the social infrastructure and demining assistance, as well as in providing support in health and psychological rehabilitation and reintegration into active social life," the statement published by the European Council says.

In this context, the EU reiterated "its intention to play a leading role, notably through the inclusive multi-agency Donor Coordination Platform agreed between Ukraine, the G7, international financial institutions and other key partners," it said.

"The EU and Ukraine underlined that relief, reconstruction, reforms and Ukraine's European path are mutually reinforcing, underpinning Ukraine's efforts in its modernization and alignment with EU standards," it said.