Speaker of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk underlined this during a meeting with President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander van der Bellen, in Vienna, Ukrinform reports with reference to the press service of the Ukrainian Parliament.
The parties discussed the prospect of Ukraine being granted status of a candidate for EU membership. In this context, the Ukrainian Rada Speaker assured the President of Austria that Ukrainians understand all the difficulties of the path lying ahead and are ready to work on fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria.
"They will work on it no worse than they know how to protect and defend themselves against the Russian Federation," Stefanchuk assured.
He also thanked the Austrian people for the high level of support given to our country, and stressed the common things that unite Ukraine and Austria: "historical, cultural, and emotional."
In turn, the President of Austria noted that six countries have already received candidate status, but have not yet joined the EU, and in this regard expressed an opinion that the European Union should "seriously reconsider the EU accession procedure," as the current process is “bureaucratized” and “too complicated."
At the same time, he expressed a conviction that Ukraine belongs to Europe, which is “beyond doubt.”
"Given the events in the recent history of Ukraine, I consider granting candidate status to Ukraine useful and necessary, and it also sends a signal to Russia," said Alexander van der Bellen.
The Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada handed over to the President and his wife drawings by Ukrainian children so that "there will always be a reminder of a future of Ukraine, which wants to see its home in a common Europe."
As Ukrinform reported, Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk is on a working visit to Vienna on June 14-15 to enlist the support of Austria in granting Ukraine the status of a candidate country for EU membership.
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