President Zelensky called on the European Union to speed up Ukraine's accession to the EU by moving to the next stage of consideration of the country’s membership in a speech delivered by video at a meeting of the European Council on Dec. 15.

 Zelensky emphasized that during this week, the Verkhovna Rada had approved three European integration laws necessary to start negotiations on EU accession.

 "This is just one of the many things that we have done to prepare the next stage of rapprochement between Ukraine and the EU," stated the president, adding that he expects the EU to assess the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission as soon as possible, to move to the next step of EU accession.

 The Ukrainian president also expressed gratitude to the leaders of European states for supporting Ukraine in obtaining its status as a candidate for EU membership.

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 EU leaders have voted to promote Ukraine and Moldova to candidate status on June 23. However, joining the bloc may take years, particularly due to the implementation of numerous reforms required to meet European standards.

 The European Council requested that the European Commission report on the fulfillment by the candidate states of the conditions set out in the conclusions on their applications for accession and to take further action "as soon as all these conditions are fully met." They then promised to make a decision.

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