Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the European Union to admit Ukraine to the bloc, saying his country was also fighting for EU membership.
Zelenskyy gave a speech online during a session of the European Parliament on Tuesday. He officially made a bid for his country’s EU membership the day before.
He said his people were not only fighting for their country and their freedom, but also for EU membership. He said that Ukraine would be isolated without the EU.
Zelenskyy stressed that his country had proven its strength and called on EU members to prove that they stood with Ukraine.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Today the EU and Ukraine are already closer than ever.”
She added “there is still a long way to go. We have to end this war. And we should talk about the next steps.”
She indicated her support for Ukraine’s admission, saying that “no one in this hemicycle can doubt that a people who so courageously defend our European values belong to our European family”.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke to the media on Tuesday about Ukraine’s application for EU membership.
He said: “The European Union is not a military-political bloc” and “as far as strategic stability is concerned, this question is of another nature”.
He added that this process should be considered separately.
Russia demanded a neutral status for Ukraine to prevent the country from joining the NATO alliance.