President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the European Union’s decision to make Ukraine an official EU candidate status “a unique and historic moment”.
“The future of Ukraine is within the EU,” Zelinsky said on Twitter, adding that the anticipated decision taken when Ukraine was under attack by Russian forces was “a unique and historic moment in Ukraine-EU relations.”
“We have just received a candidacy. This is our win,” Zelinsky said in a 55-second video on his Instagram.
“We have been waiting for it for 120 days and 30 years,” he said, noting how many days Ukraine has been at war since the Russian invasion of February 24 and more than three decades since Ukraine declared its independence after the fall of the Soviet Union.
He insisted that Ukraine emerge victorious and then rest – after rebuilding the country.
“Or maybe – we will win, rebuild, enter the EU and then relax. Or maybe we will not rest.”
However, we are sure to win. ‘
Zelinsky responded just minutes after EU leaders agreed to give candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova on Thursday, with the head of the block, Charles Michael, “recognizing (it) a historic moment in your path towards the EU.”
In a separate statement, the Ukrainian president said the move was “the beginning of a new history for Europe. Europe is not divided.”
“Today you have made one of the most important decisions for Ukraine for all of our state’s 30 years of independence,” he added in a message to the leaders of 27 EU countries.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba responded to Michael’s announcement in a short video with EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borel, “Today we mark the beginning of a long journey together.
“The Ukrainian people belong to the European family. The future of Ukraine is with the EU. We stand together for peace. Ukraine dominates. Europe dominates.”
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Schmihal saluted the “historic day” and the new phase in the construction of Europe.
The head of Zelinsky’s office, Mikhailov Podolak, foresaw a move that would mark the end of the “Russian world” in Ukraine.
On Twitter, he acknowledged the need for deeper reforms before joining the faction.
“(A) The difficult path is ahead, but the main thing is proving: We are part of the civilized world and have separate routes with Zambialand,” the reference to Russia.
bur-rbj / pvh / cdw / pvh