One of the whole reasons that Russia started the war with Ukraine was over the possibility of them joining the European Union. With the protection offered by the other member countries, Putin wouldn’t be able to re-acquire Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has proven that it won’t be easy to reclaim the country. He has fought tooth and nail to maintain a military presence. The amount of force that the Ukrainians have shown surprised the entire world. Even Putin is surprised that the nation hasn’t fallen yet, much to his frustration.
Now, it seems that Zelenskyy has been able to show the other EU nations that Ukraine has something to offer.
Both Ukraine and Moldova have been given official candidate status thanks to the leaders of the 27 European Union member states during a summit this past Thursday in Brussels.
In many instances, candidate status won’t be given to a country that is already in conflict. However, the European Commission recommended that Ukraine be given the candidate status. Commission president Ursula von der Leyen explained that they “had already implemented roughly 70% of rules, norms, and standards.”
The official application to the EU was submitted only days following Russia’s invasion.
It’s taken nearly six months to get this far.
It makes sense for Ukraine to be considered, especially since they share borders with four countries that are already members of the EU – Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.
There’s a lot of work that must be done. According to Natalie Forsyuk, the Director-General of the Governmental Office on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, there are a number of bureaucratic procedures that Ukraine must follow before it can become a member. Although they are 70% of the way there, the process can take at least seven years.
This means that the work is on the way, but Ukraine may not be getting the EU-level protection that they need soon enough to deal with Russia. This move will simply set up protection in the future should Russia try to invade again.
Once the EU decided to grant Ukraine official candidate status, he explained that “I believe this is what will always be the starting point of Europe’s new history…Europe without divisions.”
The EU will be able to help Ukraine a bit more now that they have the candidate status. It will make it easier to address the global food crisis.
Within the next few weeks, we should expect to see Ukraine getting help with exporting food, providing relief to vulnerable populations, and increasing sustainable food production.
Meanwhile, there are more EU countries who will be stepping in to provide aid to Ukraine in other ways so that they can continue to hold Russia off and even put an end to the invasion once and for all. The U.S. has announced that there will be more high-precision rocket systems being sent to Kyiv. Elon Musk has also launched more satellites to help Ukrainians with communications.
Poland has also been helping. They have supplied over 200 tanks along with mortars, missiles, and ammunition.
The U.K, Turkey, Canada, and Spain have all sent help in one way or another as well. Germany has still been hesitant to provide as much support as some of its other European counterparts. Hopefully, now that Ukraine is a player within the EU, at least as a candidate, they will get more help.
We’re still waiting to see how Putin will respond to this new status update.