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EU should start membership talks with Ukraine “as soon as possible,” say MEPs

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Brussels has been urged to “systematically align EU policies for the victory of Ukraine.”

The message, from centre right MEPs, comes with the war in Ukraine showing no signs of abating.

In comments on Thursday, the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament also said the EU should start membership talks with Ukraine “as soon as possible.”

The EPP statement also reads: “Stop EU dependency on Russian energy. Support the democratic transformation of Russia. Allocate new large-scale additional financial resources under a new EU financial instrument for Ukraine. Use the frozen assets of the Russian Central Bank for the recovery of Ukraine.”

These, and other points, are part of the Position Paper on Ukraine adopted by the EPP Group in the European Parliament on Wednesday.

It reads: “To make Ukraine an EU Member State, the EPP Group wants to start membership talks as soon as possible with the aim of concluding the negotiations within 3 to 4 years. The ultimate goal is to grant EU membership to Ukraine before the end of this decade – providing all necessary reforms are implemented in Ukraine.

“The EPP Group calls on the EU and its Member States to mobilise at least €300 bn to help Ukraine and to urgently finance, together with G7 states, Ukraine’s defence and survival, including weapons deliveries (€100 bn needed in 2023), support for the functioning of the Ukrainian state, immediate humanitarian help, such as the provision of power generators (€36 bn needed in 2023), and its reconstruction (€350 bn needed starting from 2023),” it concludes.

Andrius Kubilius MEP, who spearheaded the works on the EPP Group Position Paper, told this site: “We are at war. Not just in Ukraine. The EU must emerge from this geopolitical crisis stronger institutionally, military, budget-wise and as a global player. Appeasement makes us weaker, because it leads to more threats and blackmails by Putin. For too long, we were considering that dialogue with Putin is more important than democracy in Russia.

“That is how we allowed the Kremlin to become a new fascist regime. For too long, we were keeping Ukraine in a geopolitical grey zone, not giving it a clear EU membership perspective. We need to learn our lessons. It is time for a real Euro-Atlantic integration strategy of Ukraine”.

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