Ukraine needs reform – EU – RT Russia and the former Soviet Union


To succeed on the ‘European path’, Kyiv must fight corruption and attract investors, says European Commission chief

kyiv has advanced on its « European Way » but must do more, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Saturday during a surprise visit to Ukraine.

Ukraine submitted its formal application for EU membership on February 28, four days after Russia began its military operation in the country. EU leaders are expected to issue a formal opinion at the bloc’s June 23-24 summit on whether to grant Kyiv candidate status. The unanimous support of the 27 member nations is required for this.

Speaking at a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky amid the ongoing Russian military offensive, von der Leyen said the EU was working « day and night » on its assessment of the bid and expects to finalize it by the end of next week.

“You have done a lot to strengthen the rule of law, but reforms still need to be implemented. To fight corruption, for example, or to modernize this well-functioning administration, to help attract investors,” she says.

Noting that war with Russia is the top priority for Ukraine and its supporters right now, von der Leyen said kyiv and the West must also plan « what to do next » in terms of reforms.

“Of course, Ukraine was already on the right track before the horrible and atrocious invasion of Russia,” she said, saluting the « huge efforts and determination » of Ukraine in its attempt to join the bloc.

Von der Leyen added that Ukraine has a « solid » Political system, « solid and well-established institutions », and « an administration that functions at all levels. » She did not, however, address the crackdown on opposition parties and the media launched by Zelensky even before Moscow began the military operation, but which intensified thereafter.

Zelensky asserted that Ukraine is « only the first step », and that Moscow finally « wants to destroy European unity ».

« This is why the positive response of the European Union to Ukraine’s application for membership can be a positive response to the question of whether the European project has a future, » he added. he said, adding that « Candidate status is just the start of the move towards EU membership. »

Another major topic of the talks was the future reconstruction of Ukraine. According to von der Leyen, there are already « a very clear roadmap. »

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“It is amazing to see that there is a huge will outside of Ukraine to support the reconstruction, whether it is the Member States, whether it is other friends and partners of Ukraine, but also the financial institutions international,” he added. she said, adding that companies are also keen to help Ukraine « reborn from the ashes ».

Earlier, several EU member countries made it clear that the process of joining the bloc would take a long time. Austrian European Affairs Minister Karoline Edtstadler predicted that Ukraine would not join the bloc « in the next five to ten years. »

In May, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that Ukraine could be part of a « European political community » for the time being, noting that Kyiv’s EU membership could take years or even decades. Zelensky lambasted the idea, saying Ukraine would not settle for any substitute for EU candidate status and full membership.


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