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Ukraine says hopes for December decision on EU talks

KYIV, Ukraine, November 22 ------ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he hoped European Union leaders would agree to open membership talks with Kyiv when they next meet at a summit in December.

The European Commission recommended opening formal membership negotiations with Ukraine earlier this month, but talks cannot start unless all 27 EU member states agree. Enlargement will be on the agenda when European leaders next meet on December 14 and 15 in Brussels. "We believe that the EU will be ready to do its part so that by the end of the year in December, the result will be a political decision to start accession negotiations," Zelensky said. He was speaking at a press conference alongside European Council President Charles Michel and Moldovan President Maia Sandu, whose country is also seeking EU membership. "I will do everything in my power to convince my colleagues that we need a decision in December," Michel told Zelensky.

Kyiv received EU candidacy status several months after Russia invaded last year, but analysts have warned it faces a long and difficult path to membership. While the commission has officially green-lighted Ukraine's membership bid, it has asked Ukraine to carry out further reforms including tackling corruption before its application can progress.



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