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Deputy PM: Ukraine to start talks next week on readiness for EU

by Martin Fornusek December 15, 2023 11:51 PM 2 min read
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna attends the Acting for Survivors event on June 15, 2023. (Eugen Kotenko / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Ukraine will open discussions with the European Commission next week on the readiness of the Ukrainian state for EU membership, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said on Dec. 15.

The European Commission recently agreed to launch accession talks with Ukraine during the two-day summit in Brussels. Kyiv is still looking at years of arduous talks before the actual membership.

"Next week, negotiations will begin with the European Commission on analyzing our state structure and its readiness for the European Union," Stefanishyna said on television.

The work of the Ukrainian team is currently planned out for three months, she added.

"We will prepare negotiating frameworks, prepare for negotiations, and form negotiating teams. This process already started today."

Ukraine was granted EU candidacy last June and presented with seven reforms it needs to undertake. The European Commission issued a positive assessment of Kyiv's progress in November 2023 and recommended launching the accession talks.

Despite threats by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to block the negotiations, EU leaders passed the decision after the Hungarian leader reportedly left the room during the key vote.

As the accession process itself will likely involve years of deliberation, there are fears Hungary may continue to obstruct Kyiv's efforts in the future.

European Council President Charles Michel said earlier that Ukraine could join the EU in 2030 if both parties do their homework.

BREAKING: European Council agrees to open accession talks with Ukraine, Moldova
The European Council has agreed to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova, European Council President Charles Michel announced on Dec. 14.
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