Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech, Slovak and Polish governments all said they backed Ukraine’s bid to become an EU member state under a special procedure.
The three Central European nations join a chorus of voices across the continent calling for a fast-track procedure to allow Ukraine to join the EU as soon as possible following the Russian invasion of the country.
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared that Kyiv was seeking immediate and fast-track admission to the European Union.
Several hours later, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said he supported Ukraine’s efforts to join the EU, while Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky stated that Ukraine clearly demonstrated it belonged to the community of European democracies.
On Twitter, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová also backed Ukraine’s EU membership bid. “Ukraine is Europe. And it should be in the European Union too,” she wrote.
In an interview with Politico Europe, Prime Minister Eduard Heger pleaded for a “totally new track” and “new tools” to allow a warn-torn country “to be part of Europe”.
“They [Ukrainians] fight for themselves, they fight for us – they fight for freedom”, he said. “We have to realize that they are protecting our system, our values and we have to be together with them. So there is no time to hesitate on this.”
But it’s Poland who was among the first to call for Ukraine’s road to the EU to be facilitated and accelerated in light of the Russian aggression.
Last Wednesday, Poland and Lithuania both argued Ukraine deserved EU candidate status considering the “current security challenges”.
On Saturday, Polish President Andrzej Duda went one step further. “Poland supports an express path for membership of Ukraine in the European Union”, he wrote on Twitter. “Ukraine should also have access to EU funds for reconstruction,” Duda added.
On Sunday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed similar views and declared that Ukraine belonged in the European Union.