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US State Department: Opening EU accession negotiations with Ukraine, Moldova 'historic moment'

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 15, 2023 9:41 AM 2 min read
U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller speaks to reporters during a press briefing on July 17, 2023. (Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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The European Union's decision to begin negotiations on the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the bloc is a "powerful affirmation" of their respective "European future" and a "historic moment" for Europe, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Dec. 14.

The European Council agreed on Dec. 14 to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova and grant candidate status to Georgia. Ukraine and Moldova were granted candidate status last June, after which Kyiv was presented with seven criteria that need to be fulfilled to start accession talks with the EU.

The U.S. "continues to strongly support the EU’s enlargement process, and we look forward to supporting EU candidate and prospective candidate countries as they continue critical reforms on the path to EU membership," said Miller.

The council's decision will "offer hope and incentive to these countries and their people to continue reforms needed to advance their EU ambitions."

According to the European Commission's report from Nov. 8, Ukraine has fulfilled four of the seven criteria pertaining to two judicial reforms, the alignment of anti-money laundering legislation, and media reform.

In the intervening weeks, Ukraine passed further legislation in line with the three unfulfilled reform obligations.

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed into law on Dec. 8 three bills related to Ukraine's fight against corruption and the updated law on national minorities.

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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