EU leaders must agree on start of Ukraine, Moldova accession talks – Lithuanian president

  • 2024-06-05
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – EU leaders must agree on the start of accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova at their summit in late June, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told European Council President Charles Michel on Wednesday. 

In their phone conversation, Nauseda said the European Council meeting is "the right moment that will allow the European integration process of Ukraine and Moldova to proceed in a timely and smooth manner", thus it is necessary to find a consensus on this issue, the Lithuanian president's office said in a press release. 

The two officials also discussed preparations for the European Council's meetings, this week's European Parliament elections, and the EU's new political cycle.

Nauseda said the new political cycle should bring even more certainty, unity, and the ability to effectively represent the EU's interests on the global stage, adding that efforts must continue to strengthen the bloc's defense industry, economic resilience and competitiveness.

In December, the EU took the important step of agreeing to open negotiations on the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the 27-member bloc. Several EU countries in late May called for the talks to begin in June, but Hungary is threatening to obstruct this process.

For the negotiations to actually start, the bloc's member states still have to sign a formal framework for the process, proposed in March by Brussels. 

Ukraine applied to join the EU shortly after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of the country in February 2022.

The EU granted official candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova in June 2022, and is now urging both countries to speed up procedures to bring them closer to joining the bloc. 

However, the process of necessary reforms is likely to take years before they can finally become EU members.