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European Council President Michel to submit Ukraine's application for membership to leaders at the most opportune moment

BRUSSELS. May 5 (Interfax-Ukraine) – President of the European Council Charles Michel is currently not ready to name a specific date for the consideration of Ukraine’s application for EU membership on the agenda for EU leaders and intends to do this when "this is the best moment."

In an exclusive interview with Interfax-Ukraine, Michel explained that after the European Commission hands over its opinion in June, the issue will be further considered in the European Council.

"In Council it will be my responsibility in my capacity to assess when we will be ready to put a topic on the agenda of the European Council… I’ll consult with all actors in order to assess when this is the best moment when we will be prepared to hold this debate at the level of the European Council… is it a June or is it later – I’m not able to define answer today," he said.

At the same time, the President of the European Council recalled that Ukraine’s application is already going through all the necessary procedures at an accelerated pace. "In fact, we took a quick decision, in a few days after the application by Ukraine – we decided immediately to task the European Commission to issue the opinion. Usually it takes 8-9 month. De-facto, here we took a decision in a few days and give a mandate to prepare the opinion," Michel said.

Asked whether it is possible that Ukraine will be granted membership before all the necessary reforms have been carried out, he said that "this is very clear that this is a process which based on reforms because the question about membership is related to the common approach on fundamental elements – the rule of law, the independence of justice, the fight against corruption, the single market, the economic reforms."