Russia’s war of aggression has pushed Ukraine closer to the EU. But is it enough for a status as an EU candidate? The Commission President now wants to clarify final questions with Zelenskyj in Kyiv.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has just arrived in Kyiv for talks on Ukraine’s EU membership application.

In the capital of the country attacked by Russia, the leading German politician wants to discuss, among other things, open points in the application for admission with President Volodymyr Zelenskyj and Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal. In addition, it should be about the long-term help of the EU in repairing the damage caused by the war.

“We will take stock of the joint efforts required for reconstruction and of Ukraine’s progress on its European path,” said von der Leyen on her arrival in Kyiv. “This will be included in our assessment, which we will present shortly.”

Assessment should come on Friday

The European Commission is expected to publish its assessment next Friday on whether Ukraine should be granted candidate status for EU membership. Linked to such a recommendation would probably be reform commitments in areas such as the rule of law or the fight against corruption.

Von der Leyen’s trip to Kyiv is her second since the war began on February 24. For security reasons, it was not announced publicly in advance. In April, von der Leyen visited the Kiev suburb of Butscha, where war crimes had recently become public. At that time, she presented Selensky with the list of questions that her authority uses to assess Ukraine’s EU ambitions.