RIGA - The decision by the European Council to grant Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status will play an important role for these countries in implementing necessary reforms, Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) believes.
Karins called the decision a historical one.
"Today at the European Council, we made a historic decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova the status of an EU candidate country. Remembering Latvia's experience on the way to the EU, today's decision will play an important role in implementing the necessary reforms in both new candidate countries," Karins wrote on his Twitter account.
As reported, European Union leaders on Thursday agreed to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, in a show of support in the face of Russia's war.
"A historic moment. Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU," Michel wrote on Twitter during a summit in Brussels. "Our future is together."
Ukraine applied to become an EU candidate in a bid to cement its place in Europe just days after Moscow launched its devastating invasion.
France's President Emmanuel Macron said the move sent a "very strong signal" to the Kremlin that the EU backs the pro-Western aspirations of Ukraine.
"We owe it to the Ukrainian people who are fighting to defend our values, their sovereignty, their territorial integrity," he said.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky on Twitter hailed the EU's decision "a unique and historic moment in Ukraine-EU relations", adding that "Ukraine's future is within the EU".
The decision sets the two ex-Soviet nations at the start of a years-long path towards joining the bloc requiring major reforms and protracted negotiations.
The EU has laid out a series of steps for Kyiv to take, including on bolstering the rule-of-law and fighting corruption, before it can progress to the next stage entailing accession talks.