KIEV, April 18. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky gave the head of the EU delegation in Kiev a completed questionnaire, which is a step for Ukraine to get the status of a candidate for EU membership, the Ukrainian presidential office said on Monday.
"President Vladimir Zelensky handed to Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas a completed questionnaire for our country to obtain the status of a candidate for EU membership," according to a statement on the Ukrainian presidential website.
"The people of Ukraine has been united by this goal to feel at one with Europe, a part of Europe, a part of the European Union," Zelensky said.
He thanked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Council Charles Michel, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and Maasikas for their prompt work in providing the questionnaire. "This is an important signal. We believe that we will receive support and become a candidate for admission," Zelensky said. "Afterward, the next and final stage will begin. We believe that this procedure will take place in the coming weeks and that it will be positive for the history of our people."
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denis Shmygal said that the Ukrainian government, together with the office of the president, promptly prepared answers to the questions of the EU questionnaire and now "work is underway to integrate Ukraine into the European Union."
"We are already integrated into the EU power grid," he said. "Now we continue to work with the European Commission on integration and a common network of free roaming, free payment space."
Maasikas said he also "feels part of the team working to get Ukraine a candidate status for EU membership," the office of the president of Ukraine said. According to the diplomat, Ukraine's answers in the questionnaire will be analyzed very quickly.
Ukraine’s bid to join the EU
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on April 8 gave Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, during a news conference in Ukraine, a questionnaire that, when completed, will allow the European Council to start debating the issue whether to start talks on Ukraine’s accession to the bloc. She promised to help to complete it within weeks rather than years.
The European Commission's recommendation to the European Council to launch negotiations on admission to the bloc would be the first official step towards accession. Next, the country must agree with European negotiators on a set of conditions or "negotiation chapters" that it must fulfill. The negotiation process can take anywhere from a few years to an indefinitely long period. Finland was the fastest to cover that path, taking 3 years, while Turkey has been the slowest after starting the talks in 2005 and still having no certain prospects for completing them.
Earlier, Zelensky, in an address to the European Council, said that the European Union shouldn’t delay the decision to admit Ukraine to the EU. Prior to that, he asserted that the European Commission would decide on the issue of granting Ukraine membership in the European Union within a few months. At the end of February, the Ukrainian president asked the EU to give the country membership immediately. On March 1, the head of staff of the Ukrainian president, Andrey Yermak, announced that the application for the country's accelerated accession to the EU was accepted, registered and under consideration.
EU leaders at the summit in Versailles in March didn’t grant Ukraine the status of a candidate for joining the bloc, but expressed full support for Kiev’s aspirations. French President Emmanuel Macron said then he thought that while Ukraine is in a state of war it’s not a good time to start its accession procedure, but it would be unfair to shut the door before the country. According to Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, a serious discussion of Ukraine’s possible admission into the European Union may begin after the restoration of the country.