“I want to reaffirm that we, Ukraine, will not accept any surrogate versions or alternatives to [EU] candidate status no matter how rosy they may be. We need the EU candidate status – not a candidate for candidates, not a potential candidate, or other surrogate. We have been playing this game for a long time and we know how it works. We are humble, modest people who will be satisfied with the usual standard EU candidate status and nothing special should be invented for us,” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said at an online briefing on Wednesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
The minister expressed his conviction that Ukraine well deserves the candidate status and meets the criteria for obtaining it.
“This is a position not only of the government but also of civil society. I would like to thank more than 200 civil society and non-governmental organizations – I have been told that this is the largest number in history – that united in an advocacy campaign and signed an open appeal to foreign governments asking to grant Ukraine the EU candidate status in late June,” Kuleba said.
According to the minister, there are EU countries skeptical about granting Ukraine the candidate status and there are those who try to “seduce us with some alternatives.” In this context, Kuleba noted that he did not see skeptical countries having any rational arguments.
“Candidate status is the last psychological barrier of EU skeptic countries that we must overcome,” he said.
As reported, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for Ukraine’s membership in the European Union on February 28, 2022.
A summit of EU leaders was held in Versailles, France, on March 10, focusing on strengthening European defense and reducing dependence on Russian gas, oil and coal. EU leaders united in supporting Ukraine in the war against Russia and acknowledged Kyiv’s European aspirations.
During a visit to Kyiv on April 20, European Council President Charles Michel said that the European Commission would announce the first conclusions on Ukraine’s candidate status by the end of June, after which the issue would be on the Council’s agenda.