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Some EU Nations Balk at Push to Advance Ukraine’s Membership Bid

  • Nine nations have asked EU to grant Ukraine candidate status
  • Germany among those looking to buy time before taking decision
Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks in Kyiv on March 3.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks in Kyiv on March 3.

Photographer: Sergei Supinksky/AFP/Getty Images

Several western European Union countries are pushing back against calls for the bloc to grant Ukraine so-called candidate status this week, a first step on the long road to EU membership, according to several diplomats.

Germany, the Netherlands and others first want the EU’s executive arm to deliver its opinion on Ukraine’s readiness for the membership process before taking a political decision, said the diplomats, describing private discussions taking place ahead of a summit in France this week. Those countries want to focus on delivering practical support to Ukraine and ending the war rather than embarking on a process that could take at least a decade, one of the diplomats said.