EU grants Ukraine candidate status
The 27-nation European Union mustered a unanimous vote Thursday granting Ukraine candidate status in its bid to join the bloc. Ukraine had applied for membership a few days after Russia invaded its borders, and the EU fast-tracked its candidacy. Joining the bloc, though, is a process that can take years to complete. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Ukraine was now on the path to membership: She said its electoral system is fair, its schools are well developed, and its economy was strong before the war. The EU also gave Moldova, a small country on Ukraine’s border, candidate status Thursday.
What protections does this give Ukraine? Candidate status does not provide immediate protection. However, members are protected under the EU’s treaty mandating that if one member is attacked, every other nation must provide all of the assistance it can. In addition, members enjoy free movement of labor, goods, services, and capital throughout the EU. The United States also said Thursday that it will provide an additional $450 million in military aid, including medium-range rocket systems, to Ukraine.
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