Zelenskyy slams EU after member states refused to fast-track Ukraine's application: 'Do more'

Zelenskyy slams EU after member states refused to fast-track Ukraine's application: 'Do more'
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.Office of the President of Ukraine
  • EU leaders met on Thursday, with many refusing to fast-track Ukraine's application to join the bloc.
  • In a Friday video, Zelenskyy said the bloc must "do more" and that its response was "not what we expect."

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lambasted European Union member states after the several of its leaders refused to fast-track his country's application to join the bloc.

EU leaders met in Versailles, France, on Thursday to discuss their response to the Russian invasion and the question of Ukraine's membership, and ultimately decided against fast-tracking it. Zelenskyy applied for Ukraine to join the EU on February 28, days after Russia's invasion.

Membership to the EU typically takes years, and is normally a lengthy and circumspect process, which involves ensuring the country's lack of corruption, human rights, and economic stability.

"How do we evaluate the decision made?" Zelenskyy said in his Friday statement. "It's very simple: It must be stronger. This is not what we expect."

"The European Union must do more," he said. "It must do more for us, for Ukraine. And for itself."


He called on the EU leaders to listen to the "the mood of their nations," which he argued was in favor of Ukraine joining.

Talk of an accelerated path to the bloc got a boost on February 28 when European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said "we want them in." Later that day, Zelenskyy said he had submitted an official application. His address to the European Parliament on March 1 was also met with a standing ovation.

Zelenskyy spoke cryptically about the Versailles meeting.

"We know what was said at this meeting. What all leaders said. Who specifically spoke. Who supported. Who remained silent. And who tried to make the wording insufficient — for Ukraine, Europe and our common freedom," he said, without giving further specifics.

The Guardian and Radio France Internationale reported that Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland were in favor of speeding up Ukraine's application, while France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands were not.


According to Reuters, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said at the meeting: "Nobody entered the European Union overnight."

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also made remarks suggesting a much longer time frame, saying according to Deutsche Welle: "I want to focus on what can we do for Volodymyr Zelenskyy tonight, tomorrow, and EU accession of Ukraine is something for the long-term — if at all."

According to The Guardian, French President Emmanuel Macron also said he did not want to "open an accession procedure with a country at war," but added: "Should we close the door and say never, it would be unfair."