Ukraine’s candidacy ‘will be a priority’ for Spain’s EU Presidency
Pedro Sanchez, the president of the Spanish government, at the rostrum of the Ukrainian Parliament, Saturday July 1. HANDOUT / AFP
Ukraine’s candidacy will be a priority for Spain’s presidency of the European Union, according to a joint statement adopted on Saturday by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
“Spain reiterates its support for Ukraine’s candidacy for the EU, which will be one of the priorities of its presidency”can we read there. “Spain supports the strengthening of the partnership between NATO and Ukraine, including through the creation of a NATO-Ukraine Council”add the two signatories.
“My presence on the first day of this six-month presidency (…) demonstrates a clear and unequivocal political commitment on the part of the Community institutions”underlined Pedro Sanchez, during a joint press conference with the Ukrainian president.
Ukraine applied for EU membership just five days after the Russian invasion, on February 24, 2022, and was granted candidate status on June 23. It hopes to begin negotiations this year on the measures to be taken to consolidate its application for membership.
Mr. Sanchez said that the European Commission had recently published an interim update on the status of this application which indicates “significant progress” in the implementation of the recommendations before the accession negotiations.
“I would like to congratulate Ukraine on this positive development and encourage it to continue on the path of reform”he said, adding that a written report would be published in the fall to define “next steps, measures and decisions”.
During a speech before the Ukrainian Parliament, the Prime Minister of Spain thanked the deputies for their work, recalling that Ukraine’s desire to join the Twenty-Seven was one of the reasons for the invasion of Russia .
“We do not forget that the European aspirations of the Ukrainian people were one of the pretexts which triggered the Russian reaction and then the invasion. It was only right to honor that aspiration by granting you EU candidate status”did he declare. “However, I know it is not an easy process, especially with an ongoing war”he admitted.