Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine


Various European leaders immediately reacted to the European Council’s decision to grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status. 

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter: “Very pleased with the Leaders’ endorsement of our Opinions. [Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia] all have work to do before moving to the next stage of the process. I know that they will move swiftly. They know how crucial this is for their democracies, their economies and their citizens.”

“This decision strengthens us all. It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, in the face of Russian imperialism. And it strengthens the EU. Because it shows once again to the world that we are united and strong in the face of external threats,” she added.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said, “On the right side of history. Congratulations to the people of Ukraine and Moldova. Today we gave hope. For freedom, for democracy, for our future.”

“This is #Europe’s moment,” she added.

EU Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell said the decision “marked the beginning of a long journey that we will walk together,” and said “Ukraine will prevail. Europe will prevail.”

“The Ukrainian people belong to the European family. Ukraine’s future is with the EU,” he added.

Meanwhile, Latvia’s Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said, “Today [the European Commission] took a historic decision to grant the #EU candidate state status to Ukraine and Moldova. It is the next step in their European dream. We will be side by side with you in the further European integration process – supporting and sharing our experience.”

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda called it a “big victory for Ukraine and for the European Union!” and a “very important and timely decision.”

And Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called it “a historic achievement” and a decision that “brings hope and trust in the EU future for the people of these countries and great responsibility for their leaders.”

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