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UPDATED: Denmark's government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
UPDATED: Denmark's government supports Ukraine EU candidacy 
Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard / Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s government has said it will support Ukraine’s bid for EU membership after the European Commission deemed the country’s candidacy viable.

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Ukraine's bid to be part of the EU got a majority backing in Danish Parliament on Friday after the European Commission backed the bid.

"It is really, really important that Europe opens the door for Ukraine, so that we can get started to ensure that Ukraine can be ready for EU membership," foreign affairs spokesperson Michael Aastrup told newswire Ritzau.

Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said on Twitter that Denmark was looking forward to continuing cooperation with Ukraine on reforms.

 

The possibility for Ukraine to become part of the EU is conditional on Ukraine implementing reforms - on rule of law, oligarchs, human rights and tackling corruption - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday. She added that "good work has been done."

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Candidacy status is a significant step to joining the EU but the whole process can take years.

"When a candidate's status is granted, it is not the same as Ukraine being ready to join the EU. There are a large number of criteria to be met and there are a large number of outstanding ones that Ukraine lacks. These are some of the things that are being addressed", Michael Aastrup said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen will attend a meeting in Brussels next week where the recommendation from the European Commission will be voted and signed off by the EU's 27 member states. France, Germany and Italy have also already backed Ukraine's bid but the decision has to be unanimous.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has said that status as a candidate for EU membership is vital to his country, while the country’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has said the question could be decisive in the war to defend Ukraine from invasion by Russia.

READ MORE: Number of Ukrainian refugees working in Denmark triples in one month

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