May 27, 2024

Athens News

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EU summit in Versailles: “There is no fast-track procedure for EU accession”

At the informal EU summit on March 10 in Versailles, the leaders of the countries EU agreed to support Ukrainian refugees and continue pressure on Russia and Belarus.

As writes Deutsche Welle, the EU did not agree on an accelerated procedure for the admission of Ukraine. A statement released tonight notes that the European Union will continue to provide Ukrainian refugees with “humanitarian, medical and financial” assistance. It also contains a promise to “support the restoration of a democratic Ukraine” after the end of the war.

The document also notes that the European Commission should give an opinion on the Ukrainian application for EU membership, and until then partnerships with Kiev will be strengthened.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic noted that the European Union cannot be joined overnight. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, points out that the EC assessment could take a long time, as did his colleague Xavier Bettel:

“There is no fast-track procedure for EU accession. This would be a slap in the face for Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia, which have been waiting for admission to the accession procedure for so long. We should not give Ukrainians the feeling that now everything will happen any day now.”

The joint statement of the summit participants reads:

“The Council of the EU recognized Ukraine’s European aspirations and European choice, as stated in the Association Agreement. On February 28, 2022, the President of Ukraine, exercising Ukraine’s right to choose its own destiny, applied for Ukraine to join the European Union. The Council acted quickly and invited the Commission to submit its opinion according to this statement in accordance with the relevant provisions of the treaties. Until then and without delay, we will further strengthen our ties and deepen our partnership to support Ukraine on its European path. Ukraine belongs to our European family.”

The final communique also speaks of the readiness of the EU countries to further increase pressure on Russia and Belarus:

“We have already taken significant sanctions and remain ready to quickly take further punitive measures.”

Specific measures are not advertised. Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, stressed that the consequences of EU sanctions for the Europeans themselves should remain “as small as possible. We intend to continue this course.”

Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins called for an immediate renunciation of Russian energy imports as an incentive for Russian President Vladimir Putin to “sit down at the negotiating table.”

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said in this regard:

“We need to diversify our suppliers by switching heavily to LNG. And we need to increase the share of renewable energy. At the moment, 40% of gas in the EU comes from Russia, in Germany this figure is even higher – 55%.”

Our publication reported earlier that on February 28, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed application for admission Ukraine to the European Union. The BP press service announced this on its Telegram channel, adding a photo of the document and the moment of its signing.

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