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Ukraine completes questionnaire for EU membership

Ukraine completes questionnaire for EU membership
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) and European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrive for a joint press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on April 8, during which he was presented with a questionnaire to become an EU member. On Sunday, Ukraine said it had completed filling out the form. Photo by Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/EPA-EFE

April 18 (UPI) -- Ukraine has completed an important document needed for its application for European Union membership, officials said as the war in the eastern European nation nears two months old.

Ihor Zhovka, head of the president's office, told local media that they have filled out the questionnaire that EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had given President Volodymyr Zelensky during her visit to Kyiv on April 8.

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"So, the ball will be on the side of the European Commission," he said.

Zelensky officially signed documents applying Ukraine for EU membership on Feb. 28, only days after Russia invaded.

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Since then, Von der Leyen has repeatedly voiced Europe's support for Kyiv, and in a symbolic gesture made before reporters during her visit to the besieged nation more than a week ago, she handed Zelensky an envelop containing the questionnaire she said was an "important step" toward EU membership.

"This questionnaire is the basis for our discussion in the coming months," she said. "This is where your path towards the European Union begins."

Zhovka said he expects Ukraine to receive a "positive" recommendation from the commission that will then shift the decision on its EU members to the bloc's 27 member states.

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He added that he expects Ukraine to receive EU candidate status in June, which would kick off negotiations.

Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey are currently listed as candidate countries in negotiations with the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are listed as potential candidates.

Von der Leyen has said the process for Ukraine will be accelerated "as much as we can," due to the ongoing war and the close relationship between Kyiv and the union.

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"Ukraine is a friend, we know this very well. Ukraine shares our values," she said.

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