Fri Jun 24th, 2022 at 01:15:29 AM EST
Ukraine is now officially an EU candidate:
European leaders have granted Ukraine candidate status, in a historic decision that opens the door to EU membership for the war-torn country and deals a blow to Vladimir Putin.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels approved Ukraine's candidate status on Thursday night, nearly four months after the country's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, launched his country's bid to join the bloc in the early days of the Russian invasion. Moldova was also given candidate status.
Zelenskiy immediately welcomed the move, calling it "a unique and historic moment" in relations with the 27-nation bloc. "Ukraine's future is in the EU," he tweeted.
They obviously have some way to go before full EU membership - not least in kicking out the Russian invaders. But they've made their willingness to comply with European laws and norms clear, and that they'll make whatever changes they need to to get there. Because the whole reason for this conflict is Ukraine's desire to be a normal European democracy, rather than a Russian colony.