What to expect from the EU-Ukraine Summit in Kyiv?
    Long way to go to the membership

    ANALYTICS  06 February 2023 - 14:51

    Fuad Shahbazov

    On February 3, 2023, the European Union's top officials, including the president of the European Commission, Ursula von Der Layen and president of the European Council, Charles Michel, visited Kyiv to attend the first-ever EU-Ukraine summit nearly after a year of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Although the detailed agenda of the summit seemed to be mostly confidential, independent sources claim that the main topic of the discussion was Ukraine’s ascension to the EU in 2023, additional military aid to Kyiv, and food security.

    Nonetheless, top EU leaders attending the summit still need to bring promises that the war-torn country could join the bloc anytime soon. In fact, Brussels offers only vague assurances about moving the process forward once all EU-mandated milestones are met. Hence Brussels poured cold water on Ukraine's hopes that it could swiftly join the EU during a two-day summit in Kyiv.

    The EU first granted Ukraine formal candidate status in record time last year, shortly after the invasion campaign was launched. However, the status did not ease Kyiv's efforts to become a full-fledged member of the EU. There are several reasons for such an outcome, as the process may take years, as in the case of Georgia.

    Moreover, the EU countries have split over how quickly the bloc should try to move Ukraine through that accession process. Although the international community openly expresses solidarity with Kyiv in light of the brutal invasion by Russia, Ukraine still has a long way to go to get membership status, which depends on the successful implementation of main obligations by the local authorities. The main requirement of EU membership is indeed an anti-corruption policy and reforms of the country's judicial system to ensure transparency.

    Nevertheless, the recent arrests and resignations of the top Ukrainian officials within the anti-corruption efforts demonstrated that Kyiv authorities need a more credible policy to build a credible track record. At the end of January 2023, the deputy of Ukraine's defence minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov resigned from his post due to a scandal involving the purchase of provisions for the Ukrainian military.

    Food contracts were allegedly signed at inflated prices. Also, the deputy head of Ukraine's presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said he had asked the president to relieve him of his duties. Tymoshenko was among officials linked last September to the embezzlement of aid earmarked for Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region worth more than $7 million.

    The mass resignations and corruption investigations did not go unnoticed in Brussels, as the EU acknowledged the considerable progress that Ukraine demonstrated in the recent months towards meeting the objectives underpinning its candidate status for EU membership, welcomed Ukraine’s reform efforts in such difficult times, and encouraged the country to continue on this path and to fulfil the conditions.

    Another crucial factor that makes Ukraine's path to EU membership more complicated is the position of countries like Germany and Hungary with their confusing statements regarding the Russo-Ukraine war and Kyiv's possible membership in the EU and NATO.

    As such, the Hungarian government right-wing led by PM Viktor Orban even vetoed the bloc's planned €18 billion loans for Ukraine in December 2022, which caused sharp criticism in Brussels and Kyiv. As a result, the EU froze the assets of the Hungarian government to exert more pressure on it to cease its veto policy and reach a compromise. When Orban’s government assured the EU to proceed with the aid package to Ukraine, the EU freed up some €1.2 billion for Hungary, though Hungary will still need to convince its fellow EU members to obtain the remaining €6.3 billion.

    In the case of Germany, it strictly opposes a comprehensive military aid package to Ukraine that includes long-range missiles and artillery howitzers, referring to the risks of further escalation of the conflict," which also dragged mounted criticism from Ukraine and Western partners.

    Notwithstanding the results, the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv was a triumph of diplomacy against Russia's invasion campaign, though it yielded few developments in terms of EU membership for Ukraine. At the same time, the summit demonstrated the vulnerabilities of the Ukrainian government regarding mass reform policy to fulfil the EU's requirements.

    However, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky used the opportunity of the summit to voice concerns regarding weapon and ammunition shortages and call for supplies of long-range missiles to target Russian military objects far from the battleground in Ukraine. Hence, the EU's high-level diplomatic gatherings in Kyiv will likely proceed in the coming months, as it is essential to emphasize the full support of Ukraine at this critical stage of the war.


    Subscribe to our Telegram channel

Read also

Why does Russia deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus? To strike or not to strike

27 March 2023 - 16:22

Ukraine war: Crashing human destinies Cities, lives and plans crumbling into ashes

27 March 2023 - 17:19

Time running out for appeals... Solution needed

26 March 2023 - 12:52

“Iron Fist” in place Armenia should rethink

26 March 2023 - 14:39

Ill-starred 'partiotic games' of Karabakh separatists lead Armenia into deadlock Serhey Bohdan's scenario

27 March 2023 - 14:14

Azerbaijani metallurgy in anticipation of full cycle Review by Caliber.Az

27 March 2023 - 15:08
Latest news

    Russian oil flows hold fast even as Kremlin says output slashed

    28 March 2023 - 05:31

    Death toll climbs to 7 in Pennsylvania candy factory explosion

    28 March 2023 - 04:37

    Biden's "democracy summit" poses questions for EU identity

    Op-ed by EU Observer

    28 March 2023 - 04:00

    Garibashvili: Saakashvili’s Oslo award - insult to Georgia

    28 March 2023 - 03:30

    IKEA completes sale of Russian factory to local firm

    28 March 2023 - 03:00

    EU ready to support Egypt in curbing "illegal immigration" - official

    28 March 2023 - 02:30

    New Tesla Roadster: price, performance and specs

    28 March 2023 - 02:02

    Kishida's approval rating above water for first time in 7 months

    28 March 2023 - 01:31

    Myanmar junta throws huge military parade days after new US sanctions

    28 March 2023 - 01:02

    Iraq's ambition to match Saudi oil output is out of reach

    Analysis by Reuters

    28 March 2023 - 00:30

    Wind industry predicts bounceback and rapid growth in 2023

    28 March 2023 - 00:02

    UAE pardons Israeli woman who faced life in prison

    27 March 2023 - 23:30

    Tensions rise at revered Kyiv monastery complex

    27 March 2023 - 23:01

    Starlink rival OneWeb completes fleet to offer global Internet

    27 March 2023 - 22:30

    Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan resumes work


    27 March 2023 - 22:10

    Azerbaijani FM, US Assistant Secretary of State discuss recent situation in region

    27 March 2023 - 22:00

    Three children, gunman confirmed dead in Nashville school shooting

    27 March 2023 - 21:30

    Poland to boost ammunition production

    27 March 2023 - 21:00

    Israel’s Netanyahu postpones judicial reform law adoption until summer

    27 March 2023 - 20:50

    Lithuanian MPs propose holding dual citizenship referendum in 2024

    27 March 2023 - 20:42

    Iran says ready to join second "3+3" format meeting on South Caucasus

    27 March 2023 - 20:36

    SOCAR Türkiye, Sabanci University develop 'green hydrogen' project

    27 March 2023 - 20:28

    Azerbaijani scientists invent new demining equipment

    27 March 2023 - 20:18

    Israeli protesters block main entrance to Jerusalem

    27 March 2023 - 20:08

    Australia’s Olympic chief Carroll greenlights Russia, Belarus for 2032 Summer Olympics

    27 March 2023 - 20:00

    Ukraine receives 18 Leopard 2 main battle tanks from Germany

    27 March 2023 - 19:52

    Romania meets all criteria to join Schengen in 2023, says Charles Michel

    27 March 2023 - 19:45

    Moscow deems unacceptable Armenia's plans to join Rome Statute of ICC

    27 March 2023 - 19:37

    Scotland to get 1st Muslim leader as SNP elects Humza Yousaf

    27 March 2023 - 19:35

    Sweden vows to avert any possible Armenian provocation in football match vs Azerbaijan

    27 March 2023 - 19:26

    President Joseph Biden congratulates President Ilham Aliyev on Novruz holiday

    27 March 2023 - 19:20

    Azerbaijani vocalist wins international opera contest in New York


    27 March 2023 - 19:18

    Israeli embassy in US shuts down in protest against judicial reform

    27 March 2023 - 19:10

    Canada imposes new sanctions against Iran over protests, drones

    27 March 2023 - 19:02

    Ukraine fears nuclear plant could face dangerous water cooling shortage

    27 March 2023 - 18:55

    Russian peacekeepers' vehicles continue to move safely along Khankendi-Lachin road

    27 March 2023 - 18:45

    WSJ: US seeks to attract Silicon Valley specialists in arms production to keep up with China

    27 March 2023 - 18:38

    Germany slams Russian plans to deploy nukes in Belarus

    27 March 2023 - 18:31

    Council of Europe urges UK lawmakers to stop new migration law

    27 March 2023 - 18:24

    Zelenskyy visits Ukrainian army’s frontline positions in Zaporizhzhya


    27 March 2023 - 18:17

    Prince Harry in UK court for phone-tapping case against Daily Mail publisher

    27 March 2023 - 18:10

    "Destabilisation of the region could lead to severe military consequences for Armenia"

    Caliber.Az talks to Russian pundit Sergey Borovikov

    27 March 2023 - 18:03

    Azerbaijani MPs to visit Israel

    27 March 2023 - 17:56

    Germany to buy 28 howitzers to replace arms rushed to Ukraine

    27 March 2023 - 17:49

    Missile strikes kill one, injure 25 in Ukraine's Donetsk region

    27 March 2023 - 17:42

All news