Czech FM: Ukraine EU Accession Talks Could Start This Year

Ukraine’s EU accession could begin soon if all EU member states can be persuaded, said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky after President Petr Pavel vowed to push for accession talks to be opened by the end of this year.

Pavel previously said he would be pushing for this in line with the position of Czech diplomacy, which Kyiv also seeks.

“I can imagine it, but there must be consensus in the entire EU-27,” Lipavsky said. However, many EU member states are sceptical, and Czechia is trying to allay their fears. Ukraine would have to meet all the conditions and “cannot enjoy any reliefs” in this respect, Lipavsky said.

Ukraine was granted candidate status for EU membership in 2022.

It received seven recommendations from Brussels last year that it should follow to move closer to membership in the bloc.

European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen said in January this year that Ukraine had made good progress in implementing those recommendations related to domestic politics and the judiciary, such as the fight against corruption and the procedure for approving judges of the Ukrainian Constitutional Court.

Czechia, in cooperation with other allies, will seek ways to increase the supply of ammunition to Ukraine, Czech President Petr Pavel said after returning from a two-day visit to Ukraine.

According to Mr. Pavel, Ukraine has a critical shortage of ammunition, which is essential for the country to launch a counter-offensive against Russia and regain control of its territory.

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