Ukraine can become EU member if fulfills Association Agreement, reform program - Brussels

Ukraine, as a European country, has the right to become a member of the EU, but must first fulfill the Association Agreement and the reform program, a high-ranking European official has said.

"We are linked with Ukraine by the Association Agreement signed in 2014, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) Agreement, and now we must do everything possible to make it a success story," he said, announcing the participation of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in a videoconference of EU foreign ministers.

He noted that this agreement has a huge potential in terms of the economy and social development of Ukraine, while Brussels and Kyiv should focus their efforts on its implementation.

"Ukraine is a European country and in this capacity it can become a member of the EU," he told journalists.

"But this is not what is on the agenda right now. Today we are talking about the implementation of the Association Agreement, about holding reforms, about things that usually precede the process of joining the union," the official said.

He said that on Monday Kuleba will join the video meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU countries and will talk with them for about an hour.

"The Ukrainian army has been constantly on alert for seven years, Ukraine spends 6% of its GDP on defense, which it more needs on other budget items," the official stressed.

In his opinion, Ukraine will be able to move forward, overcoming the conflict in the east of the country and actively pursuing reforms. At the same time, the EU is ready to provide financial and economic support to Kyiv.

"We will continue to do this, because we see this as the only possible way to ensure that Ukraine is a truly independent, sovereign country," the EU official said.