Duda expects EC to recommend Ukraine be granted EU candidate status
Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has expressed hope that the European Commission will render a positive opinion on Ukraine's bid to achieve candidate status to join the European Union.
"The entire matter will probably be settled during a meeting of the European Council," Duda told reporters after a meeting of the managerial staff of the Defence Ministry and the Armed Forces Command, in Warsaw, on Monday.
"It is unlikely that the final decision will be known earlier," added the president.
"I hope that the European Commission will provide a positive signal on Ukraine's EU candidate status bid," Duda continued.
"The days to come will bring new information. But we have obliged ourselves to act, as we believe that granting Ukraine EU candidate country status is important not only to Ukraine and its defenders, but also to the EU and our community," the president said.
According to the Polish president, during a videoconference with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, earlier on Monday, "the situation on the frontline and what is now needed by the defenders of Ukraine," was discussed as well as actions aimed at granting EU candidate status to Ukraine.
A final European Commission opinion, even if positive, would still need the approval of member states before Ukraine is officially granted the status. The bloc's leaders are set to discuss the matter in Brussels on June 23-24.
Several countries are against the move, saying Ukraine can't be given preference over existing applicants. The membership process includes an arduous set of steps and conditions that can normally last more than a decade.