As Spain takes the presidency of the European Union, its Prime Minister visits Zelenksy to reaffirm the bloc’s commitment to Ukraine’s accession to the EU.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has reaffirmed his country’s “unequivocal” commitment to Ukraine’s efforts to join the European Union on the first day of Madrid’s presidency of the bloc.
The Prime Minister kicked off his country’s presidency of the EU by visiting Kiev as part of Madrid’s show of support for the country’s accession into the 27-country bloc.
Sanchez pointed to a recent interim update on the status of Ukraine’s candidacy, launched by the European Commission, which revealed “significant progress” being made in regard to the implementation of recommendations made to Ukraine ahead of its membership talks.
“I would like to congratulate Ukraine for the positive trend and encourage it to continue its path of reforms,” the PM said, adding that a report will be released later in the Fall to outline “the basis for further steps and decisions” required of Ukraine for the completion of its membership process.
Sanchez claimed that Ukraine’s aspiration to join the bloc was one of the reasons why Russia decided to launch its special military operation, as he thanked Ukrainian lawmakers for the work they have done to bring Kiev’s accession closer.
Ukraine applied for EU membership only 5 days after the conflict started in February 2022 and it received candidacy status from the bloc in June 2023.
Zelensky’s government looks to commence formal negotiations with the EU this year to start working on the rest of the membership requirements.
Ukraine has also sought to join the NATO alliance, however, not much progress has been made in that aspect. As members are conflicted over Kiev’s accession to NATO as it would require the alliance to expand their support to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.
Spain has been one of Zelensky’s biggest supporters, as it has provided the Ukrainian army with air defense systems and Leopard 2A4 tanks during the war.