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Candidate state says it hopes to join EU in 22nd century — RT World News

Albanian PM, who has warned Ukraine against ‘illusions’ of EU membership, mocks Brussels’ slowness to add new members

Albania, which gained EU candidate status eight years ago, still holds out hope of joining the bloc in the 22nd century, the Balkan country’s Prime Minister Edi Rama joked during of a European summit in Brussels.

“Of course we will continue on our European path with the hope that in the next century we will be members”, Rama said on Thursday.

The sarcastic comment was made after the EU-Western Balkans summit in the Belgian capital, which did not bring any conclusive results for Albania and other EU candidates in the region.

Brussels failed to overcome Bulgaria’s veto on starting accession talks with North Macedonia in time for the meeting.

It also stalled the bloc’s negotiations with Albania, with the two neighboring countries’ EU membership bids being bundled together.

According to Rama, the problem was not only with Bulgaria’s position, but with the bloc’s general reluctance to add new members.

The Albanian Prime Minister said he planned to make several statements during the talks with the President of the European Council, but “Charles Michel said we had three minutes each, and I said 30 seconds would have been enough if you kept your promises.”

“They don’t hear us as Europeans, but as guests in a divided house”, he complained.

Candidate state says it hopes to join EU in 22nd century — RT World News

It was “disturbing” that even events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian offensive in Ukraine, which Rama said could well escalate into a global conflict, have not been enough to persuade EU member states to find a common ground on expansion, the politician said.

Also on Thursday, the European Council decided to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status.

Speaking on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans summit, the Albanian Prime Minister warned Kyiv against any “delusions” that his candidacy will soon become a true membership.

“North Macedonia [has been a] candidate for 17 years, if I haven’t lost count. Albania, for eight. So welcome to Ukraine,” Rama commented.

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