France, Italy, Germany and Romania support the immediate granting of Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union.
This was stated by French President Emmanuel Macron in Kyiv during a press conference following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Le Monde reported.
"All four of us support immediate candidate status. This status will be accompanied by a road map, as well as taking into account the situation in the Balkans and surrounding areas, in particular in Moldova," Macron said.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi also confirmed his support for the candidate status for Ukraine. "Today, the most important message of our visit is that Italy wants to see Ukraine in the European Union," he said.
The leaders of the four European countries arrived in Ukraine on June 16, visited war-torn suburb of Irpin, and also met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
Rapprochement of Ukraine with the EU
Ukraine has already completed and submitted a questionnaire to the European Commission to help the EU decide whether the country should become a candidate for accession. The Commission must then provide its opinion and refer the questionnaire to the European Council. Once approved, Ukraine will receive candidate status and start EU accession talks.
At the same time, the leaders of France, Germany and Austria said that Ukraine's accession to the EU could take years and suggested organizing other forms of cooperation.
Ukraine insists on EU membership. On June 6, President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated that Ukraine was not considering an alternative to membership in the European Union. Representatives of the European Council will discuss granting Ukraine the EU candidate status during the summit on June 23-24.
Negotiations on accession among current EU members have progressed differently. For example, Sweden applied in 1991 and became a member in 1995. On the other hand, Turkey applied in 1987, but has not yet joined the bloc.