President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is convinced that Ukraine should not just become a member of the European Union, but be an equal participant in the unification of European states. He stated this in a joint interview with Polish President Andrzej Duda to Ukrainian and Polish journalists during a trip to Odesa.
"For me, the most important thing is that Ukraine is not just a member of the EU, but an equal member. I want Ukraine to be invited to the EU. We want to be at this table of negotiations and values at the same level and with the same status," the Ukrainian President stressed.
"This is important. And we do everything to be equal partners," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
He thanked the Republic of Poland and personally President Andrzej Duda for the continued support of Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity provided together with other EU countries.
The Head of State reminded that in order to become a member of the European Union, the countries aspiring to join must meet many conditions.
"Politicians - both Ukrainian and European - say that the path to the EU is a path with two-way movement, towards each other. But no one says that there are many lanes on this road: the country has a lot to do to become a member of the EU. The independent anti-corruption policy, attractive investment climate, and, by the way, the infrastructure that we are actively building," he said.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized that mentally Ukrainians are Europeans. He reminded that there were many disputes over the accession to the European Union of countries such as Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and now they are members of the EU.
"We now see the result," the President of Ukraine said.
When asked by a journalist whether it is possible for Ukraine and Poland to sit on one side of the "table" of the European Union, the President replied: "There will definitely be such a moment”.
Andrzej Duda, for his part, noted that Poland has always supported Ukraine's European aspirations.
"Ukraine has always been in Europe, and the issue of EU membership is a political issue, and it requires changes and many reforms that need to be carried out in Ukraine," he said.
The President of Poland noted that he had always believed that countries aspiring to join the EU should have the prospect of joining - the doors of the EU should be open.
"Ukraine is moving towards the EU, and we support it on this path, and my visit is proof of that," Andrzej Duda stressed.
Regarding the historical aspect of the bilateral relations between Ukraine and Poland, Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed content that during the conversation with Andrzej Duda they were very open in discussing the issues of historical memory.
"We have to be realistic, without sentiment. At our level, we have agreed to go through all these issues, because we live side by side, we are neighbors and will be neighbors forever," the President of Ukraine said.
He stressed that the issue of historical memory should be resolved by historians, professionals, not politicians.
"That is why it is important that today, as a political issue, the issue of historical memory is completely removed. It is important. There should be no disputes between our countries in the future," Volodymyr Zelenskyy summed up.
The President of Ukraine also noted that the Ukrainian-Polish economic forum held in Odesa today was opened by the presidents of the two countries and heads of relevant ministries. About 50 Ukrainian and 30 Polish companies took part in the meeting. Much attention has been paid to infrastructure development.
"I have not seen any moment, any fundamental tension that could divide our countries," the President of Ukraine emphasized.