The European Commission recommended Friday that Ukraine should be granted EU candidate status, a first step on the long road toward membership for the war-torn country.
The recommendation from the EU’s executive arm will now be discussed by leaders of the 27-nation bloc during a summit next week in Brussels. Launching accession talks requires unanimous approval from all member countries.
The announcement came after four European leaders visited Kyiv and stood next to Volodymyr Zelenskyy at a news conference. The leaders of France, Italy, Germany and Romania expressed support for Ukraine's admission.
“I want to say today that the most important message of our visit is that Italy wants Ukraine in the European Union and wants Ukraine to have candidate status and will support this position in the next European Council,” Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said during a joint press conference in Kyiv.