EU flag is seen in front of the EU Commission Headquarters in Brussels. (File)InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Union is reportedly preparing to launch formal negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the bloc and intends to announce this in December.Citing diplomatic sources, US media reported on Tuesday that EU leaders will reportedly give the green light to accession talks with Kiev before the end of 2023, despite the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine.Earlier in the day, Czech President Petr Pavel said at an opening ceremony for the new academic year at the College of Europe in Bruges that the EU should enlarge in order to maintain its security and should not leave Ukraine and the Western Balkans “at the mercy of geopolitical manipulation.” EU Ambassador Tells Ukraine Not to Expect Membership Shortcuts19 July 2022, 16:20 GMTIn September, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said she was confident that the EU could continue to function effectively in an enlarged format, adding that the accession of new member states to the bloc would be the best investment in the peace, security and prosperity of the entire continent.
Ukraine applied for EU membership on February 28, 2022, shortly after Russia launched its special military operation. It was followed by Georgia and Moldova, which decided to fast-track submission of their applications.
During the EU delegation's visit to Kiev on April 8, 2022, von der Leyen handed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a questionnaire to begin Ukraine's accession process.