European Union given Ukraine official candidate status

ISLAMABAD, June 25 (Alliance News): European leaders have given Ukraine “candidate status” to join the bloc.

The decision comes at a time when tensions are rising over Russia’s gas supplies and Moscow’s forces are close to major cities.

Demonstrating support, EU leaders agreed to nominate Ukraine as well as Moldova, the two former Soviet states have long been members of the European bloc, according to foreign media.

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky hailed the development as a “unique and historic moment” and said Ukraine’s future lay in the European Union.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the decision by European leaders would send a “very strong message” to Russia that Europeans support Ukraine’s pro-Western aspirations.

Russia, meanwhile, says the EU’s decision to make Ukraine and Moldova the official EU candidates is a domestic matter.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “This is a domestic matter for Europeans. It is important for us that all these issues do not create more problems for us and our relations with these countries.

Talking about Moscow’s relations with the European Union, he said “it will be very difficult to spoil them further.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said that Ukraine and Moldova’s accession to the 27-nation bloc was “not a threat” to Russia because the European Union is not a military alliance.

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