Ukraine expects negotiations on joining EU in first half of 2024, PM Shmyhal says
Denis Shmyhal. (Photo: press service of the Cabinet of Ministers).

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal expressed hope that the European partners will agree to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union without additional amendments, as proposed by the European Commission, and this will happen in the coming months, he stated in an interview with Euractiv.

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"We are waiting and wishing to have approval by the European Council at their closest meeting [this week], and believe we can begin accession negotiations in the first half of this year," Shmyhal said.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, called 2030 a possible year of EU enlargement, but Ukraine hopes that it will happen earlier, said the premier.

According to Shmyhal, the completion of the "homework" in Ukraine will take no more than two years.

Asked whether Ukraine's application may face resistance from a number of EU member states due to high costs, Shmyhal said: "Ukraine will bring to the EU much more than the process of joining will cost."

On February 28, 2022, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed an application for Ukraine's membership in the European Union.

On December 14, 2023, the EU decided to start accession negotiations with Ukraine.

On January 26, 2024, Zelenskyy announced the start of work on assessing the compliance of Ukrainian legislation with EU norms.

On February 21, 2024, Ursula von der Leyen stated that the draft negotiation framework for Ukraine's accession to the EU is unlikely to be prepared before June.

On March 4, Denys Shmyhal expressed the opinion that the EU will not wait for formalities and will grant Ukraine membership in a few years.