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Ukraine has received the status of a candidate for EU membership: what does it mean for the country?

Exactly four months after the start of the full-scale war that Russia unleashed on February 24, Ukraine was granted candidate status for EU membership.

All leaders of the 27 EU countries voted for it, without exception, at a summit in Brussels.

June 23, 2022 will surely go down in history, just like June 17, 2017, when three years after the Revolution of Dignity, where Ukrainians were dying under European flags, we received a visa-free travel. And they continue to die on the battlefield in a bloody war with Russia for their civilizational choice and right to be part of the European family.

The historic EU summit of June 23, 2022 did not repeat the fate of the infamous NATO Bucharest summit of April 2008, where Ukraine was denied a NATO membership action plan because of Putin's threats to drop a nuclear bomb. The EU seems to be moving away from its policy of "deep concern" and "appeasement of Russia. In key EU capitals, there is a gradual realization that Europe is de facto already at war with Russia.

Volodymyr Zelenski signed the application for EU membership on February 28, the fourth day after the start of the large-scale Russian war. Pictures of him signing these documents in front of sandbags in the Office of the President flew around the world. It seemed fantastic at the time because Russian troops were already under Kiev, the offensive was continuing on nine fronts, and Western diplomatic missions had left the Ukrainian capital, destroying all the papers, never to return again because they did not believe Ukraine would hold out. At least that's what foreign diplomats say behind closed doors. And we stood our ground. Diplomatic missions from about 60 countries returned to the capital. The European Commission promptly reviewed Ukraine's application for membership and gave its conclusions to the completed questionnaire. According to the procedure, the applicant country first completes a special questionnaire to the European Commission, which then announces its verdict. In fact, we heard the final "yes" from the European Commission on June 17.

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