US President Joe Biden sees Ukraine’s entry into the European Union as very likely.
During a meeting with journalists, the head of state was asked if he was confident that Ukraine would join the EU. “I think that is very likely to happen,” the US President replied.
Biden was also asked if he plans to visit Ukraine. “It depends on the circumstances,” the American president said.
According to him, the possibility of a visit depends on “whether it will create additional difficulties for Ukraine, whether it will be disturbed by what is happening.”
“But I met [президентом Украины Владимиром] “Zelensky, I talk to him three or four times a week,” Biden said.
The US President said he would soon visit Germany, Spain, Israel and Saudi Arabia, after which he would “probably return home soon”. Biden was asked if he would visit Ukraine as part of his visit to Germany for the Group of Seven (G7) summit and Spain for the NATO summit in Madrid.
“Not very likely on this trip,” the President replied.
Biden also blamed Russia for the record increase in the number of refugees in the world due to the situation in Ukraine.
“We’ve reached a dire point recently: According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than a hundred million people are now forcibly displaced, more than at any time in history,” the US president said.
He recalled that Washington has committed to providing temporary asylum to tens of thousands of Ukrainians.
Membership Candidate Status
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed her confidence that Kiev will receive candidate status for EU membership.
“I firmly believe that we will make a positive decision, we will get support, the route is now set,” said von der Leyen. “Of course, this is a historic decision that the Council of Europe must take now, but preparations are going well.”
The European Commission president said the decision to grant Ukraine candidate status was based on data, facts and the preparatory work the country has done over the past eight years.
“Ukraine has made great strides in recent years,” Von der Leyen said, noting that the EU “would like to see more reforms”. This applies, for example, to the fight against corruption and strengthening the rule of law.
In this context, the EC President pointed out that it was up to the applicant country itself whether or not the accession to the European Union would be successful and how soon it would happen. “It’s not exactly a difficult process,” von der Leyen concluded.
On 17 June, the European Commission Governing Body recommended that the Council of Europe grant Kiev candidate status to join the community.
If all 27 countries of the community accept this proposal at the summit in Brussels on June 23-24, Ukraine will have to make a series of reforms to start accession negotiations with the European Union. The country needs to strengthen the judiciary and intensify the fight against corruption, as well as “deoligarchy”. In addition, Ukraine should adopt laws on the procedure for selecting judges of the Constitutional Court and complete the selection of candidates for the creation of the High Qualification Commission for Judges.
As the President of the European Commission pointed out, a country can enter the EU quickly after obtaining candidate status, but it can also go in the opposite direction if the necessary progress is not made.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the European Commission for the advice and said it was the “first step towards EU membership” that would bring Kiev’s “victory” closer.
“Half the economy collapsed”
Saying that half of the Ukrainian economy is currently not working, Zelensky called for financial aid to Kiev.
“Our economic system isn’t working right now until halfway through our economy. Imagine half the economy of Italy and all your ports completely clogged. No country can survive in such a situation without financial aid. “When we say that Ukraine needs about $5 billion a month to cover its budget deficit, it’s not just a number,” he said.
Earlier, World Economic Forum Chairman Borge Brende said that Ukraine should develop a large-scale recovery and reconstruction program similar to the American Marshall Plan.