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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President Volodymyr Zelensky meet in Kyiv on Nov. 4, 2023. (President's Office)
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Ukraine and Moldova began long-awaited talks on their respective accession to the EU in Luxembourg on June 25.

"We have surpassed the barrier of promise to delivery," Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna told the Financial Times (FT) ahead of the opening of the negotiations.

"It's a decision that's merit-based," she said, emphasizing that Ukraine had reached all the necessary criteria for the talks to begin.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said that it was a day that "will go down in history."

"This is an important moment that strengthens us, that binds us together as one family. Our shared future starts now," she added.

The formal start to the negotiations follows an agreement by EU ambassadors last week. Officials in Kyiv and Brussels were pushing for the June starting date before Hungary takes over from Belgium as the EU chair the following month.

Ukraine received EU membership candidate status in June 2022. The European Commission recommended launching accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova in November 2023, and the European Council agreed on it a month later.

The commission then presented the negotiation framework and said the two countries are ready to begin the talks by the end of June.

Despite the agreement, Ukraine's entry into the EU most likely remains years away. Katarina Mathernova, the EU ambassador to Ukraine, said last month that Kyiv could join the bloc in 2030.

Zelensky to sign EU-Ukraine security agreement in Brussels this week
President Volodymyr Zelensky will attend the European Union summit in Brussels on June 27 and sign a security agreement with the EU, Polish media RMF reported, citing an unnamed senior EU diplomat.

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6:52 PM

Ukraine's GDP grew by more than 4% in 6 months.

"Due to the high adaptability to difficult conditions and experience in responding to such challenges, the Ukrainian economy continued to grow" in June, said Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko.
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