The process of Ukraine becoming a member of the European Union (EU) will take a lot of time, if you look at the situation realistically. This was stated by Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Blanar on Tuesday, November 21, in an interview with Die Presse newspaper.
«We support Ukraine in its quest to join the EU. But she has to fulfill the same conditions as everyone else. It wasn’t easy for us either. In reality, we have to state that there is still quite a long way ahead,» he said.
He added that Slovakia will agree to Ukraine’s accession to the European Union at the summit in December, if Kiev fulfills all the conditions.
Prior to that, on November 16, national consultations began in Hungary, during which citizens of the country will express their opinion on disagreements with the EU, including on the topic of Ukraine’s accession to the bloc and providing military assistance to it.
Earlier in the same month, the European Commission (EC) recommended starting a negotiation process with Ukraine and Moldova. On the same day, the head of the EC Ursula von der Leyen said that the actual timing of Ukraine’s accession to the EU depends on the reforms carried out in the country and the principle of «membership on merit». She noted that negotiations can start immediately after the European Council makes a formal decision on their start.
Commenting on the EC decision, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said that negotiations with Ukraine on joining the community should not begin yet. He noted that there is no observance of freedom of speech in the country and elections are not held. Accordingly, Szijjarto stressed, in these conditions it would be absurd to assess compliance with the principles of the rule of law in the country.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky signed an application for the country’s accession to the EU on February 28, 2022. Further, in April of the same year, the Ukrainian side handed over to the union the completed second part of the questionnaire for obtaining candidate status. On June 23 of the same year, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, announced that at the EU summit Ukraine had agreed on the status of a candidate. Seven other countries are also in a similar situation — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey and Montenegro.