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PM: Ukraine EU candidacy sends message of hope

The EU on Thursday awarded Ukraine and Moldova candidate status in the bloc.

Sanna Marin at the EU Council meeting on Thursday in Brussels, where EU leaders granted candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova. Image: Olivier Hoslet / EPA

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said granting Ukraine and Moldova EU candidate status was a historic decision, putting it on a path toward membership in the union.

The EU on Thursday awarded Ukraine and Moldova candidate status in the bloc.

"It's a message of hope for these areas, showing them they belong in the European family. In the future they will be a part of the European Union," she said, though adding that there was still "much work to be done."

Ukraine applied for EU membership shortly after Russia invaded the country.

"Without the war in Ukraine, we probably wouldn't have been having these discussions this spring," Marin said.

The PM did not want to speculate as to when Ukraine could gain full membership status. "That's impossible to predict. It depends on the country itself and how quickly it implements the reforms required for membership."

The EU has set out conditions on Kyiv such as improving the rule of law, fighting corruption as well as money laundering.