Levits backs "immediate EU accession perspective" for Ukraine

Latvian State President Egils Levits has joined the leaders of seven other Central and Eastern European states in urging the European Union to accelerate Ukraine's path towards eventual EU membership.

Along with the leaders of Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, he backed granting "candidate country" status to Ukraine.

Candidate country status is an official step on the path towards full EU membership, which is one of Ukraine's goals. Currently Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey are candidate countries, but Ukraine is not.

Negotiations are held with each candidate country to determine their ability to apply EU legislation and examine their possible request for transition periods. In order to conduct the accession negotiations, EU legislation and standards are divided into 35 chapters which are negotiated one by one. The process usually takes many years.

In Latvia's case it became a candidate country in 2000 and a full member of the EU in 2004, a relatively short period of time. In contrast Turkey has been a candidate country since 1999.

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