European Union leaders on Thursday are set to grant Ukraine candidate status to join the 27-nation bloc, the first step in a long and unpredictable journey toward full membership that could take many years to achieve.
During the summit in Brussels, leaders of the European Union’s 27 member states gathered to formally accept the nation in a symbolic step that signals the EU’s intention to reach deep into the former Soviet Union.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said although he was worried that the high emotions sparked by the war in Ukraine could lead to an impulsive decision on the country’s candidate status, he found the EU Commission’s decision to be a “balanced outcome.”
The move will kickstart the EU’s most ambitious expansion since welcoming Eastern European states after the Cold War.
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