Presidents of 8 EU states call for immediate talks on Ukrainian membership

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy signs an official request for Ukraine to join the European Union, with Prime Minister Denys Shmygal (R) and Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk standing next to him, in Kyiv, Ukraine, February 28, 2022. [Reuters]

The presidents of eight central and eastern European nations on Monday called on European Union member states to immediately grant Ukraine a EU candidate country status and open membership talks according to an open letter published on Monday.

"We, the Presidents of the EU member states: the Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Poland, the Slovak Republic, and the Republic of Slovenia strongly believe that Ukraine deserves receiving an immediate EU accession perspective," the letter said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Monday asked the European Union to allow Ukraine to gain membership under a special procedure immediately as it defends itself from invasion by Russian forces.

"Our goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal. I'm sure that's fair. I am sure we deserve it," he said in a video speech shared on social media.