EU Commission President Expresses Confidence in Ukraine's Rapid EU Membership
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stated that Ukraine is making swift progress in its reforms and could soon become a member of the European Union, as reported by Bloomberg.
"I am impressed by how Ukraine is implementing very complex reforms while they are at war. If they maintain this pace - and I see they are absolutely motivated - this will be a crucial moment," she said.
While von der Leyen did not specify exact timelines, she emphasized that the process is merit-based, and she is confident that Kyiv will eventually succeed in its application for EU membership.
The European Union is under pressure to expedite Ukraine's membership process, hindered by the ongoing Russian war and previous applications from several other countries, including those in the Western Balkans.
Ms. von der Leyen, who heads the EU's executive branch, also mentioned that she believes the bloc will fulfil its promise this spring to supply Ukraine with one million pieces of ammunition within the next 12 months.
"We are greatly advancing the defence-industrial base," she said. "This is given a lot of attention. We are making every effort and working persistently to achieve results."
The EU plans to double the production of artillery shells to assist Ukraine and replenish its own supplies. Previous years of limited defence spending have left Europe's defence industry insufficiently flexible for rapid production expansion, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year.
Currently, the EU is also considering the introduction of a 12th package of sanctions against Russia. Member states are divided on what measures should be included in this package.
The new measures are likely to include a European version of the G7's ban on purchasing diamonds from Russia and a proposal to tax profits from frozen assets of the Central Bank of Russia to assist Ukraine. Specific actions of the new sanctions package may be presented as early as next month.
Poland and Baltic countries are calling for more extensive sanctions, including those related to natural gas supplies from Russia and information technology services. Some countries are also calling for restrictions on Russia's nuclear sector.