The European Council on Thursday granted Ukraine and Moldova candidate status in the European Union, IgbereTV reports.
The European Council President, Charles Michel, announced this in a statement issued after a meeting by leaders of the EU’s 27 member states in Brussels.
Ukrainian leaders have been pushing for membership of the regional political and economic bloc since the February 24 invasion of the country by Russian troops.
The European Commission had last week recommended the candidate status for Ukraine to pave way for its membership of the bloc.
The statement read: “The European Council recognises the European perspective of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia. The future of these countries and their citizens lies within the European Union.
“The European Council has decided to grant the status of candidate country to Ukraine and to the Republic of Moldova.
“The Commission is invited to report to the Council on the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinions on the respective membership applications as part of its regular enlargement package. The Council will decide on further steps once all these conditions are fully met.
“The progress of each country towards the European Union will depend on its own merit in meeting the Copenhagen criteria, taking into consideration the EU’s capacity to absorb new members.”