Von der Leyen not binding on Ukraine’s EU membership, ban on Russian energy imports – POLITICO

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday declined to say if and when Ukraine would become a member of the European Union and declined to answer whether the EU would seek a total ban on oil and gas imports Russia would consider.

She said the Ukrainian people “belong to the European family,” but added in an interview with CNN that “it would take time.” When asked when the earliest possible accession date would be, she said: “It’s difficult to say … Reforms have to be carried out, processes set up.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy submitted a symbolic application to the EU on Monday, asking for his country’s accelerated membership. Georgia and Moldova have also submitted applications.

EU membership is a year-long process that requires countries to comply with both legal and practical changes. Other countries with pending membership bids – such as Montenegro and North Macedonia – could potentially be upset if other applications are rushed.

Von der Leyen also refused to say whether an import ban on Russian oil and gas – on which the bloc relies heavily for its energy supplies – would be an option the EU would be willing to consider.

Instead, she said, “We need to get rid of the addiction [on] fossil fuels from Russia. We are currently discussing in the European Union a strategic approach, a plan, how to accelerate investments in renewable energy, how to diversify our energy supply, for example with you, our friends in the US for LNG gas … and other friends in around the world, how to invest massively in biogas and in hydrogen from your own cultivation. This is not only a strategic investment in our energy security, but also good for the climate.”

The commission will outline next week a list of measures to be discussed by EU leaders on how to reduce the bloc’s energy dependency on Russia.

https://www.politico.eu/article/von-der-leyen-noncommital-on-ukrainian-eu-membership-banning-russian-energy-imports/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Von der Leyen not binding on Ukraine's EU membership, ban on Russian energy imports - POLITICO

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