Vrom an EU-Ukraine summit on Friday, Kyiv is hoping for more concrete accession prospects. “I believe that Ukraine deserves to start negotiations on EU membership already this year,” said Zelenskyy in his evening address on Thursday. Further integration into the European Union would give Ukrainians “energy and motivation to fight despite all obstacles and threats”.
Another topic at Friday’s summit, which is being held under tight security, is additional European support in the war against Russia. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who has been in Kyiv since Thursday, has already announced further financial, military and humanitarian aid. 150 million euros are to be made available for the reconstruction of the energy infrastructure destroyed by Russia. A new package of sanctions against Russia is to be decided by the first anniversary of the start of the war on February 24.
Ukraine has had candidate country status since June. However, it usually takes many years to become a member. However, the 27 EU states have agreed that promises of reform must first be kept.
Among other things, this involves the selection process for constitutional judges and the fight against corruption – especially at a high level. The EU is also demanding that standards in the fight against money laundering be observed and that a law against the excessive influence of oligarchs be implemented.
Ukraine needs over 15 billion euros for reconstruction in 2023
Ukraine has also requested specific funding from the European Union for the ongoing reconstruction of the destroyed infrastructure. “This year, the need is 17 billion US dollars (around 15.6 billion euros),” said Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal. Above all, the Russian funds frozen in the course of the sanctions against Moscow should be used for this.