Georgia, Moldova follow Ukraine in EU bid – POLITICO

After Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union while fighting the Russian invasion, Georgia and Moldova on Thursday submitted their own applications to join the bloc.

It is highly unlikely that the two countries will join the union any time soon, but their bids reflected their deep concern about Moscow’s war on Ukraine and a desire to move closer to the EU politically.

“Now the time has come: Moldova officially signs the application to join the European Union”, called Maia Sandu, President of Moldova, which borders Ukraine and EU member Romania. “Citizens are willing to work hard for a stable and prosperous future in the EU and the European family of states.”

In Georgia, occupied by Russia in 2008, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili made announcements about his country official site that his country is also officially applying for EU membership. “Today is a historic day for Georgia. I am signing the application for EU membership on behalf of the country,” Garibashvili wrote.

The road to EU accession is generally long and arduous, involving years of social, legal and economic reforms. In order to even be granted candidate country status, a country has to get the green light from all EU member state governments.

An additional obstacle for Moldova and Georgia is that both countries have Russian-backed breakaway regions on their territory.

On Monday, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s heartfelt request to the European Parliament to press for Ukraine’s membership of the EU, European Council President Charles Michel said enlargement was “a difficult issue” on which the Member countries have “differing opinions”.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi this week traveled to Moldova and Romania, both of which are facing influxes of refugees fleeing Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Georgia, Moldova follow Ukraine in EU bid – POLITICO

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