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FM: I won't tell year when Ukraine to become EU's full member, but it to happen much faster than many people expect

(Version of 30 March news item titled ‘Ukraine may become EU’s member one year after start of pre-accession negotiations – Kuleba’ has been updated)

KYIV. March 31 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba expects Ukraine and the EU to start pre-accession negotiations as early as 2023 and full membership will take about a year.

“Our goal is to open membership negotiations in 2023. I will not tell you the year when Ukraine will become a full member of the EU, I will only say that it will happen, and it will happen much faster than many people expect. And third, this will happen if the EU does not come up with any artificial or new conditions, requirements and procedures to slow down this process,” Kuleba said during a speech at an event from Chatham House.

According to the minister, “Ukraine has proven that it is ready and is doing its homework much faster than anyone expected.”

Kuleba also said that for 20 years the EU has been saying that Ukraine needs reforms to obtain candidate status. “Now we hear that the EU must reform itself in order for Ukraine to become a member,” he said.