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The flags of the European Union and Ukraine outside the EU Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium, on Feb. 24, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Ksenia Kuleshova/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Ukraine expects to begin accession negotiation to join the European Union in June, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on May 9.

"We are actively preparing the next stage of rapprochement with the European Union for June - we anticipate the adoption of the negotiating framework and the actual start of the negotiations on Ukraine's accession," Zelensky said in his evening address.

"Our country, our people deserve this," Zelensky added. "It is the lifeblood of the European Union to be a European project that leaves no one outside the EU, no one who truly professes European values."

Earlier on May 9, Katarina Mathernova, the EU ambassador to Ukraine, said 2030 is a very real date for Ukraine to join the European Union.

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, also announced during a visit to Kyiv on May 9 that official negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU should begin before the end of the first half of 2024.

“Introductory negotiations must begin as quickly as possible and I am optimistic that EU member states can approve the negotiating framework in June,” Metsola said. "As you know, the Hungarian presidency of the Council of the EU begins on July 1, so it is important to make the necessary decisions before that, during the Belgian presidency."

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal later said that European Council President Charles Michel had named 2030 as a possible target year for further EU enlargement but added that the Commission would work to try to integrate Ukraine on a faster timeline.

In November 2023, the European Commission — the Union's executive arm — recommended the launch of accession talks with Kyiv but said four additional reforms must be implemented.

The European Council then agreed to open accession talks with Ukraine the following month.

Earlier in the day, Zelensky met with the European Council President Charles Michel, as well as the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who confirmed she would be attending the upcoming peace summit to be held on June 15-16 in Switzerland.

EU Ambassador to Ukraine: Ukraine could join EU in 2030
2030 is a very real date for Ukraine to join the European Union, Katarina Mathernova, the EU ambassador to Ukraine, said in an interview on May 9.
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