Ukraine received the status of a candidate member of the EU

The dispute has stalled Albania because the EU sees both countries as a couple in terms of their entry.

Mr. Rama was caustic when he arrived yesterday at the EU-Western Balkans summit, which took place on the eve of the European Council meeting, which granted Ukraine and Moldova candidate status.

“It is a shame that this one NATO country, Bulgaria, is kidnapping two other NATO countries, namely Albania and North Macedonia, in the midst of a hot war in the European backyard, when 26 other countries sit still, showing terrible impotence.” he said.

“You guys are in a mess, a big mess,” he told Bulgarian television.

Josep Borrell, the bloc’s chief diplomat, said the rule requiring unanimous approval from current members “is a big problem” and suggested that EU capitals give up veto power.

“So we have to think (about how we make decisions in the European Union, because we can’t continue the lockdown by one country for months and months,” he said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has already called for abandoning the unanimity requirement before new members join the bloc and replacing it with a majority vote. He said the EU was sending a signal of solidarity to Ukraine for a “historic” and “important” summit.

The summit in the Western Balkans aims to intensify the EU’s enlargement policy in a region where Russia’s influence can be significant.

Membership candidate Serbia, for example, has refused to follow the EU’s lead in imposing sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine.

Kosovo’s President Vyosa Osmani warned: “The more the EU fails to send a single and clear signal on the Western Balkans, the more other malign factors will exploit this space and this vacuum.”

Historic step

Ahead of the European Council summit, leaders hailed the historic move to grant Ukraine candidate status.

“Just a few months ago, I was very skeptical that we would get to the point where Ukraine received the status of a candidate, and I am very glad that we are there and receive the status of a candidate from Ukraine and Moldova,” Kaya Kallas, Prime Minister . Estonia said.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, said: “This is a defining moment for the European Union, a geopolitical choice that we will make today, and I am confident that today we will grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova.”

“We must send a strong signal of support for Ukraine,” Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo said.

Michael Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland, said: “Today the EU sends a signal of solidarity to the people of Ukraine that you belong to the European family, that you belong to the EU.”

“We in Ireland know what EU membership means for the European Union. this is the 50th anniversary of Ireland’s decision to join the European Union, probably the most radical decision and event to have taken place in Ireland’s modern history.

Mr Martin said Dublin would never be able to deny access to other member states because “we know that membership itself can be transformational… even though Ukraine is going through a terrible, inhumane war.”

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