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Zelensky addresses EU summit, warns against 'indecision'

by Martin Fornusek December 14, 2023 3:06 PM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky in his office in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Nov. 24, 2023. (Volodymyr Zelensky/X)
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on EU leaders to act decisively for Ukraine in a video address to the European Council summit. The Dec. 14-15 meeting is expected to bring about decisions on $54 billion in the bloc's funding for Kyiv and Ukraine's accession negotiations.

The results of the upcoming talks remain uncertain as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is considered close to Moscow, said he would block the start of the negotiations and has long opposed military support for Ukraine.

"This day will go down in our history. Whether it's good or bad for us, history will capture everything. Every word, every step, every action and inaction. Who fought for what," Zelensky said, according to the Guardian.

"It's very important that Europe doesn't fall back into indecision today. Nobody wants Europe to be seen as untrustworthy. Or as unable to take decisions it prepared itself."

Zelensky stressed that Ukraine passed key reforms necessary on the country's path toward EU integration.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised Ukraine's reform efforts in a speech on Dec. 12, saying that the country is well on its way to fulfilling the remaining recommendations listed during the November assessment.

Orban was more skeptical about Ukraine's progress, noting that the country has not completed three of the seven criteria set by the EU and that any further decisions should wait until all conditions are met.

"I ask you one thing today – do not betray the people and their faith in Europe," Zelensky told EU leaders.

"​If no one believes in Europe, what will keep the European Union alive?"

According to European Pravda, the possibility of Zelensky's personal visit to the summit was discussed as the president toured several partner countries in recent days.

His participation has not been officially confirmed.

Zelensky says Ukraine has fulfilled EU membership obligations
Ukraine has fulfilled membership obligations set by the European Commission, President Zelensky told Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in a phone call on Dec. 13, the presidential office revealed.
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