Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (right) and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen make statements following their talks in Kyiv on June 11, 2022. (SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP)
KIEV - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said here Saturday that the commission will finalize the assessment on granting Ukraine European Union (EU) candidate status by the end of next week, the Ukrinform news agency reported.
"The European Commission is currently preparing its recommendations -- the so-called conclusion for EU member states. We have been working on this assessment day and night," von der Leyen said at the joint press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. "Our discussions will allow us to conclude this work by the end of next week."
On Feb 28, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an official appeal to the EU asking for the accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure
On Feb 28, Zelensky signed an official appeal to the EU asking for the accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure.
Von der Leyen gave the EU membership questionnaire to Zelensky during her visit to Kiev in April. The first part of the document was submitted to the EU on April 18, while the second was delivered on May 9.
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However, observers say even with candidate status, it may take years, if not decades, for Ukraine to obtain EU membership.
Meanwhile, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has pledged to continue providing military aid for Kiev while meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart here, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said Saturday.
During the talks held on Friday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov urged more defensive aid from Britain, saying that "we need more heavy weapons to continue the struggle."
Wallace said Britain's support for Ukraine will continue, noting that cooperation between the two sides "will be as effective as possible."
READ MORE: Ukraine officially appeals for EU membership
Last month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the British government will provide 1.3 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in military aid to Ukraine.
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