Ukraine’s EU Accession Talks Suspended until Summer

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen does not expect the necessary negotiating framework to be in place before the European Parliament elections in early June. Negotiations with the Ukrainian authorities on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union were postponed until the summer. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this in Brussels on Wednesday, 21 February. She indicated that she did not expect the necessary negotiations basis to be established before the European Parliament elections, which would be held from 6 to 9 June. “It will take some time”, she said, adding, “perhaps the EU will be ready by early summer”. According to von der Leyen, quoted by the AFP news agency, the European Commission is currently working on a “framework of guiding principles” for negotiations with Ukraine, which must then be unanimously approved by all 27 EU member states. In mid-December, the European Union summit participants gave start for EU accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, but emphasized that their success in such negotiations was closely linked to the successful reforms implementation. In addition, the EU heads of state and government decided to grant Georgia the status of an EU candidate country. Ukrainian and Moldovan Presidents Volodymyr Zelensky and Maia Sandu welcomed the European Council’s decisions. It was expected that this decision might be blocked by Hungary, whose Prime Minister Viktor Orban has repeatedly and extremely strongly opposed the start of these negotiations. Orban said that Ukraine needed reforms, which it still had not implemented. According to reports from EU circles, the decision was taken when Viktor Orban was absent from the meeting room. Nevertheless, the quorum of the European Council was met. Orban said on Facebook that he abstained from the vote because he did not want to take part in what he called a “bad decision”.