Ukraine and Moldova have been accepted as candidates for EU membership.
In a Tweet, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the “historic” decision adding that both countries are “part of our European family”.
Today is a good day for Europe.
Your countries are part of our European family.
And today’s historic decision by Leaders confirms that. pic.twitter.com/lAkv8Bq5fs
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) June 23, 2022
Georgi has also taken a step towards EU membership, with leaders agreeing the country should be granted EU status once “outstanding priorities” are addressed.
Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia all have work to do before moving to the next stage of the process,” said President von der Leyen.
“I know that they will move swiftly. They know how crucial this is for their democracies, their economies and their citizens.”
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy commended the EU leader’s decision, labelling it a “unique and historical moment”.
Sincerely commend EU leaders’ decision at #EUCO to grant 🇺🇦 a candidate status. It’s a unique and historical moment in 🇺🇦-🇪🇺 relations. Grateful to @CharlesMichel, @vonderleyen and EU leaders for support. Ukraine’s future is within the EU. #EmbraceUkraine https://t.co/o6dJVmTQrn
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 23, 2022
The move is likely to anger Russia which has long opposed the prospect of Ukraine joining the EU.
Ms von der Leyen said the decision "strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, in the face of Russian imperialism. And it strengthens the EU.
"It shows once again to the world that we are united and strong in the face of external threats,” she said.