The European Union on Thursday, disbursed Euro 1.9 billion for Ukraine amid its ongoing conflict with Russia. European Union President Ursula von der Leyen, said that the fund under the Ukraine Facility is aimed to keep the Ukrainian state running as they “fight for freedom.” She also termed the opening of accession negotiations with Ukraine as a “historic moment” and said Kyiv will find its “rightful place” in the Union.

“Dear @ZelenskyyUa the opening of accession negotiations was an historic moment. You will find your rightful place in our Union. Today we disburse a new EUR1.9 billion under the Ukraine Facility. To keep the Ukrainian state running as you fight for freedom,” the EU chief posted on X.

Earlier on Tuesday, the EU launched accession talks with both Ukraine and Moldova after receiving the nod from the bloc`s member states last week, Al Jazeera reported. The agreement of the bloc`s 27 members was secured last week, despite efforts by Hungary to block the move. However, there is no guarantee that the talks will ultimately lead to EU membership, as Turkey and several Western Balkan states have spent years in the accession process.

Notably, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has reinvigorated the EU`s efforts to expand its membership, much to Moscow`s chagrin. Ukraine lodged its bid to join the bloc in the immediate aftermath of the invasion in February 2022. Neighbouring Moldova followed closely behind. “These are truly historic moments. Ukraine is and will always be part of a united Europe,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said when the bloc`s members signed off on starting the talks. “Millions of Ukrainians, and indeed generations of our people, are realising their European dream,” he added.

The launch of accession talks has started off a process of screening how far laws in the countries already comply with EU standards and how much more work lies ahead. The EU then has to begin laying out conditions for negotiations on 35 subjects – from taxation to environmental policy. According to Al Jazeera, it appears unlikely that there will be progress towards the next step in the coming six months when Hungary will hold the EU`s rotating presidency.

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