Ukraine kicks off 'historic' EU membership talks

The European Union began accession negotiations with Ukraine on Tuesday, almost two and a half years since Russia launched the invasion that sparked the war between the two countries. Along with neighbouring Moldova, Ukraine is now on a long journey towards joining the bloc, a move deemed “historic” by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The European Union on Tuesday kicked off accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, setting the fragile ex-Soviet states on a long path towards membership that Russia has tried to block.

The landmark move signals a vote of confidence in Kyiv's future at a time when Moscow has momentum on the battlefield almost two and a half years into the Kremlin's invasion.

The EU is also set a few hours later to begin negotiations on joining the bloc with Ukraine's neighbour Moldova, another ex-Soviet state under pressure from Russia.

"Dear friends, today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the relationship between Ukraine and the European Union," Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said via videolink at the start of the talks.

"The path ahead will be challenging but full of opportunities," she wrote on X on Tuesday.

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