VILNIUS – The European Commission should on Friday issue a favorable opinion on the granting of a candidate status to Ukraine, Lithuanian Ambassador to the European Union Arnoldas Pranckevicius has said.
“We have to wait for the final decision of the commissioners and a public message from the EC President. However, the Commission is likely to recommend EU Member States to grant a candidate status to Ukraine, knowing that Ukraine will take certain steps on its path towards eurointegration,” he told the public broadcasters LRT on Friday.
The ambassador said that “the details, of course, will hide the devil” yet he expressed his belief that the requirements for Ukraine would be implementable and would not stop the country on its path towards eurointegration.
“It’s difficult to say [what those details will be]. However, it is known that the Commission is likely to express certain expectations it has for Ukraine and in particular for Moldova, the two countries that are the closest to the candidate status. Then we will see those details, whether those steps … are rational, logical, and we will discuss that among member states next week,” Pranckevicius said.
The European Commission will meet on Friday to give its fast-tracked opinion on Ukraine's bid for EU candidacy.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated last Saturday that the EU executive’s opinion on Ukraine’s request to join the European Union would be ready “by the end of next week”.
“Today’s discussions will enable us to finalize our assessment by the end of next week,” she then told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during an unannounced visit to Kyiv.
It was the first time the EU has publicly given timing on when the Commission will deliver its opinion. The bloc's 27 member countries will then need to decide whether to allow Ukraine to start accession negotiations.