EU members oppose fast-tracking Ukraine’s accession – media — Analysis

Journalists were told by anonymous diplomats that although they support the principle of Kiev’s candidate status, Greece and Cyprus do not.

Greece and Cyprus would object to any proposal suggesting fast-tracking Ukraine’s accession to the EU, Euractiv reported on Friday, citing anonymous diplomats.

According to a source in the Greek Foreign Ministry, Athens will insist that all procedures under Article 49 of EU Treaty be followed if Ukraine is granted the candidate status. Greece reportedly had no issue in principle with giving Kiev such status but would want to acquaint itself with the European Commission’s proposal first.

Nicosia, which traditionally maintains very close relations with Greece, also wished to see the Commission’s proposal before being able to answer definitively, unnamed Cypriot government officials told Euractiv. According to sources, Cyprus, just like Greece, would not allow Ukraine to take shortcuts towards EU membership.

UK PM proposes that Ukraine join new alliance – media

According to the report, both Athens and Nicosia are concerned that Ukraine’s bid could overshadow the accession prospects of North Macedonia and Montenegro which, along with several other nations, have been candidates for years now. Greek and Cypriot officials noted that the Western Balkan region’s accession to the bloc should remain a priority, particularly given that the candidate countries have already conducted some of the required reforms.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin voiced an identical position during her visit to Kiev on Thursday, as reported by Finland’s Yle news outlet. According to reports, the premier said that Ukraine can’t be granted a quick fix and that it should join the bloc only if Kiev fulfills the conditions. Marin supported Ukraine being granted candidate status but warned it might take many years for the country to become a member.

Ukraine submitted its official application for EU membership on February 28 – four days after Russia attacked the country.

EU leaders are expected to issue a decision during the bloc’s summit on June 23–24 about whether to give Kiev candidate status. For the status of Ukraine to be granted, all 27 member countries must support it.

Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that Ukraine could become part of a “European political union” for the time being, noting that Kiev’s accession to the actual EU could take years, if not decades. Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian President, attacked the idea. He made clear that Ukraine was not willing to accept any other EU status than its candidate status.

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