Ukraine deserves EU membership because 'we are fighting for Europe', says Zelenskyy advisor

Igor Zhovkva speaking to Euronews about Ukraine's EU membership application.
Igor Zhovkva speaking to Euronews about Ukraine's EU membership application. Copyright Euronews
Copyright Euronews
By Shona Murray
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Ihor Zhovkva told Euronews that his country cannot afford to wait years for its application to be accepted by Brussels.


Ukraine has earned its right to EU membership due to its defence of Europe against Russia, said a top advisor to the country's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The president's deputy head of office, Ihor Zhovkva, told Euronews that his country needs its application to join the 27 member bloc to be processed as quickly as possible and that it cannot wait years for it.

"We can't afford ourselves years or tens of thousands of years to review Ukraine's application," Zhovkva said. "We need it swiftly. We need it very, very swiftly. We deserve it because we are fighting now not only for Ukraine but for all European nations."

Kyiv is currently filling in a questionnaire aimed at achieving candidate status for EU membership, which was personally handed to Zelenskyy on Friday in the country's capital by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The lengthy document requests information about Ukraine’s economic and political situation.

Ukraine says it is determined to press forward despite being in the midst of a violent armed conflict.

“We will fill it in very quickly. That's what the president (Zelenskyy) promised personally to President Ursula von der Leyen. And our government, our relevant ministries and our agencies are working 24/7 in order to fill in this questionnaire," Zhovkva said.

"And once given back to the European Commission, we were promised that the European Commission will process the opinion in a very swift manner and will put it under reconsideration to the European Council."

Brussels says it is taking into account the very difficult circumstances Ukraine is in when deciding on its candidate status.

While the EU has agreed to help Kyiv pursue its ambition, not all member states are fully on board.

Normally, it can take decades for a country to achieve membership to the bloc and several member states, such as the Netherlands, insist there is no such thing as fast track application.

The issue will be discussed at an EU leaders' summit in June.

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