'No one wants an unreliable Europe' Zelenksy tells EU summit
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky called on EU leaders to agree to open accession negotiations with his country during a video message at the European summit on Thursday. "It is important that Europe does not fall into indecision. Nobody wants Europe to come across as unreliable," he said.
The opposition of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has made the European Council's decision on accession talks the main point of discussion at the summit. According to Orbán, the European Commission itself says Ukraine has not met all the conditions, but the 26 other leaders dispute that analysis.
The summit began with a video contribution from Zelensky. There had been uncertainty about whether he would be present at the summit, and he eventually participated via a video link.
"It is very important that Europe does not fall into indecision today."
"Today is a special day, which will go down in the history books," Zelensky said as he thanked the heads of state and government for their unity in supporting Ukraine. "You all realised it was not the time for half-baked measures or doubts. Europe took strong decisions and implemented them effectively.
"It is very important that Europe does not fall into indecision today. Nobody wants Europe to come across as unreliable or unable to take decisions it has prepared itself," he said. "Today is the day when either Brussels or Moscow shows determination. People in Europe will not understand if Putin's smug smile becomes their reward for a meeting in Brussels."
Zelensky urged the EU to keep its promises and make the political decision to open accession talks. "And then in March next year [at the next summit], the negotiating framework will be adopted. No bureaucracy. Everything is very clear."
© PHOTO HANS LUCAS