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Major EU states against granting Ukraine candidate status – Italy — Analysis

According to the PM from Italy, many EU countries don’t want Kiev jumping on the bandwagon in order to join the bloc.

Rome is the only country that supports Ukraine’s candidate status within the European Union. This, despite all other EU member countries opposed to it, Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister, revealed Tuesday. He said that EU officials would try to quickly draft a proposal on how Kiev might join the EU in June.

“Almost all the major EU member countries are against giving Ukraine candidate status – except Italy,”At a Brussels press conference, Draghi answered a question from ANSA (the Italian news agency). “Candidate status is currently not predictable due to the opposition of these countries.”

Draghi said that he would be able to “imagine” that the European Commission would present a plan to fast-track Ukraine’s application for future candidate status at a meeting in June. 

He observed that candidates take many years, even if they are eligible for EU membership. However, the EU offers various alternative arrangements. “sweeten the pill,”However, none of these options were accepted by the Kiev government.

The Ukrainian application to join the EU was submitted on February 28th, four days after hostilities broke out with Russia. The European Council “acknowledged the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine” in March, and said they had “swiftly” passed Kiev’s paperwork to the European Commission.

In early May, Russia announced that Ukraine’s membership in the EU would be just as unacceptable for Moscow as Kiev joining NATO. 

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Minsk Protocol (German- and French-brokered) was created to grant the separatist regions special status within Ukraine.

In recent years, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself to be neutral so that it can join NATO. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims it planned to seize the two republics.

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