Following approval by the 27 leaders of the European Union during a conference in Brussels, Ukraine has been given official candidate status by the EU.
“Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU,” Mr. Michel said, describing the European Council’s decision as a “historic moment.”
Moldova was also awarded candidate status, although Georgia was placed on a waiting list while changes to assure the country’s political stability were implemented.
Ukraine filed a request to speed up the process to the body days after the Russian invasion in February.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the decision, calling it “a unique and historic moment” in relations with the 27-nation bloc.
“Ukraine’s future is in the EU,” he tweeted.
Moldovan President Maia Sandu also tweeted that the decision was a “strong signal of support for Moldova and our citizens.”
The action is expected to enrage Russia, which has long opposed Ukraine joining and associating with the West.