The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

EU launches membership talks with Moldova and Ukraine

The European Union is to formally launch accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova after the bloc’s member states gave the nod last week. The start of negotiations will be marked by a ceremony in Luxembourg on Tuesday. While the process is likely to take years and be tough, the opening of the talks will give the pair – war-torn Ukraine in particular – encouragement to continue on their path to leaving their Soviet past behind them. The agreement of the bloc’s 27 members was secured last week, despite efforts by Hungary, whose government maintains close links to Russia, to block the move. The ceremony on Tuesday afternoon will be followed by an arduous process, with negotiations only set to start in earnest after the EU has screened their legislation to assess the reforms needed to meet the bloc’s standards. There is no guarantee that the talks will ultimately lead to EU membership. Turkey and several Western Balkan states have spent years in the accession process. ‘European dream’ However, Russia’s war in Ukraine has reinvigorated the EU’s efforts to expand its membership, much to Moscow’s chagrin. In December, candidate status was granted to Georgia. The former Soviet state has since become embroiled in a bitter political row that Brussels has warned could delay its progress. Aljazeera

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.