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EU formally accepts Ukraine and Moldova as candidates to join the bloc

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Decisão foi tomada durante cúpula da União Europeia em Bruxelas
Decision was taken during the European Union summit in Brussels| Photo: EFE/EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

During a summit in Brussels, heads of state of the 21 countries that make up the European Union formally accepted this Thursday (18) Ukraine and Moldova as candidates to join the bloc.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the decision “historic” and said that the “future of Ukraine lies in the European Union”. Candidate status is the first step in the process that will assess the entry of the two former Soviet republics into the bloc.

In a press conference this week, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stressed that “there is still a lot of work to do” for the two countries’ accession to the EU to take place, as a Ukrainian advance in the fight against corruption, although he has praised actions in this sense already implemented by Kyiv.

Ukraine and Moldova submitted applications to join the bloc days after the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory , in 24 of February.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had nothing against joining the Ukraine to the EU, as it is not a military organization or a political-military bloc like NATO.

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