Granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union can significantly strengthen freedom in Europe and become an important successful decision on its historical path. This was stated by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a conversation with media representatives following a meeting with the Presidents of France and Romania, as well as the Prime Minister of Italy and the Chancellor of Germany in Kyiv.
"Russia wants to show that the European Union is allegedly incapable of being effective and that European values cannot protect freedom. We can and therefore must break this scenario jointly and prove to them that Europe will continue to be free, democratic and, I emphasize once again, this is important - united," said the President of Ukraine.
According to him, the main manifestation of the common strong position of Europe can now be the support for Ukraine's integration into the EU.
"The very course of European history has proved the correctness of the European Union's positive response to Ukraine's aspirations. The status of a candidate for membership in the European Union for Ukraine can historically strengthen freedom in Europe and become one of the key European decisions of the first third of the XXI century," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The President stressed that Ukraine is ready to carry out the necessary work to gain full membership in the European Union.
"Ukrainians have already earned the right to take this path and receive candidate status. We have all seen polls that confirm that the majority in all European countries and on the European continent in general supports Ukraine's European integration. We have historically the highest level of support for European integration among the Ukrainian people as well," he said.
For his part, President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron noted that Ukraine is part of the European family, and the leaders of the four countries support granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership.
He expressed hope that the decision to be taken at next week's European Council session would be unanimous. According to him, this status is tied to the roadmap, so Ukraine’s European path is just beginning.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed that the status of a candidate for EU membership is an important milestone on Ukraine's European path, and assured that he would stand for the given decision at a meeting of the European Council.
He added that in order to join the European Union, candidates must meet certain criteria of a democratic and legal state.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis stressed that the European Union must create effective tools for rebuilding Ukraine.
"It is our duty to act. It is our responsibility not to miss this opportunity to help our Ukrainian friends gain a new future," said the President of Romania.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi added that the EU demonstrates unity today and reaffirms readiness with its allies to help Ukraine. He also assured of the support for our country's European aspirations.
"Italy wants to see Ukraine as part of the European Union. This means it will unequivocally support Ukraine in its candidate status and in the future accession to the EU. This is a path that requires profound reforms," said Mario Draghi.