Netherlands’ PM Rutte emphasizes prolonged timeline for Ukraine’s EU accession

Even if negotiations on EU accession begin immediately, Ukraine will need many years to become a member, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Dec 14, before the start of the EU leaders’ summit.

“Let’s see how far we can go. I believe it is very important that today we have a positive assessment of the next steps for Ukraine,” Rutte said.

“In any case, it will take many years before the accession takes place.”

He added that Ukraine has done a lot to start negotiations on future accession.

“Ukraine worked extremely hard to take this next step during the war. They are also fighting for us. It is also about our values, our collective security,” said Rutte.

Read also: Dutch PM arrives in Odesa to talk air defense

In addition, Rutte emphasized the importance of making a decision to allocate EUR 50 billion($55 billion) to Ukraine at this time.

The European Council meeting started in Brussels on Dec. 14. During this meeting, EU leaders are expected to decide on starting negotiations on Ukraine’s accession to the union. The summit began with a one-and-a-half-hour delay.

During this session, the bloc must decide whether to begin negotiations with Ukraine on EU membership and adopt eurointegration decisions for nine other countries. Unanimity among all member countries is necessary for these decisions.

Hungary is raising objections.

Read also: Netherlands to provide Ukraine with EUR 500 million in ammunition

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