The European Commission is to support giving EU candidate nation status to Ukraine, Politico reported on Monday.
Several anonymous officials “familiar with the debate among commissioners” told the media outlet that among the factors which tipped the scales in Kiev’s favor were the sacrifices Ukrainians have made so far, as well as the need to make it clear to the Kremlin that Ukraine will never again be part of its sphere of influence.
“The Commission does not forget that Ukraine is the only country in Europe where people died, where people were shot at because they were on the streets carrying EU flags,” one senior official explained. “Now, we cannot tell them, ‘sorry guys, you were waving the wrong flags,‘” he added.
According to Politico, this was one of the arguments Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used during Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s surprise visit to Kiev on Saturday when he tried to convince the EU boss that his country deserves the much-coveted status. The Ukrainian president reportedly said that by recognizing them as an EU candidate nation, the bloc would give Ukraine a much-needed morale boost in the face of the ongoing Russian offensive.
The final decision, however, rests with the European Council, made up of the heads of state and government of all 27 EU member states. They are expected to decide the matter at a summit in Brussels next week.