18:44 / 17.06.2022.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Von der Leyen: Ukraine ready to die for European perspective

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

Foto: Thierry Monasse / ANDBZ/ABACA

The European Commission has backed Ukraine's bid to be given candidacy status to join the EU - bringing it one step closer to joining the bloc.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that Ukraine had done good work so far but that more reforms were needed - especially on the rule of law, human rights and tackling corruption.

Candidacy status is a significant step to joining the EU, however, the whole process can take many years.

The recommendation from the European Commission still needs to be signed off by the EU's 27 member states, who are set to meet next week. The French, German and Italian leaders have already backed Ukraine's bid, but the decision must be unanimous.

Speaking from Brussels and wearing blue and yellow - the colours of Ukraine - Von der Leyen said Ukrainians were "ready to die" for the European perspective.

"We want them to live European dream with us," she said, adding that Ukraine had shown its "aspiration and determination to live up to European values and standards."

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted in response that the "historic decision" would bring "victory closer".

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