German FM Baerbock declares Ukrainian EU membership 'geo-strategic necessity'
Annalena Burbok (Photo - Twitter GermanForeignOffice)

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock endorsed plans to commence European Union membership talks with Ukraine as scheduled in December, reports Reuters.

In a speech at a conference in Berlin, the diplomat said that EU expansion has become a "geo-strategic necessity" due to Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine and that the EU needs to carry out "tedious reforms" for this.

"We want to see Ukraine a member of our European Union, and I am convinced that the European Council in December is going to send out that signal," Baerbock stated.

She emphasized that the bloc will become stronger in the expanded composition only if it "does what we have been so hesitant to do for so long" — reviews and rethinks the way it functions.

A watershed report from the European Union's executive bodies assessing Ukraine's fulfillment of accession criteria is set to be published on November 8, with the document providing a pivotal step in Kyiv's efforts to take its relationship with Brussels to the next level.

It is expected that Ukraine will "receive a positive recommendation" when fulfilling a number of conditions related to the fight against corruption and respect for the rights of minorities (Hungary insists on considering this issue).

Moldova may receive a similar decision on the start of accession negotiations at the same time.

Ukraine acquired the status of a candidate country for joining the European Union in 2022. At the same time, the European Commission provided Ukraine with an action plan that must be implemented in order to start negotiations on joining the EU. According to Politico, the European Union is preparing to officially announce the start of accession negotiations in December 2023.

Ukraine expects to become a member of the European Union in the coming years.

Support for joining the EU among Ukrainians is now at a record high level.

Read also: EU soon to expand to Luhansk, Ukraine's future is in the bloc, German FM Baerbock declares