EU leaders decided on Thursday to make Ukraine and Moldova official candidates for membership of the European Union, European Council President Charles Michel announced on Twitter, writes news agency MIA.
“A historic moment. Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” Michel wrote on Twitter.
War-torn Ukraine and close neighbour Moldova have lobbied for months to start the long process of joining the 27-member bloc. EU accession, a politically fraught and legally complex process, can drag on for years or even decades. Being an official candidate for membership is the first step of many in joining the EU and gives access to financial support for social, legal and economic reforms intended to bring the aspiring country closer to EU standards.