Foreign Ministers from some of the European Union (EU) member states met in Kiev for their first meeting outside the bloc, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry announced.
"I am convinced that this meeting will speed up the European integration of Ukraine," said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, while opening the informal gathering on Monday.
Addressing the meeting, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that his country stands ready to implement seven recommendations of the European Commission to start negotiations on membership this year, thanking the EU for providing aid for Kiev, reports Xinhua news agency.
He voiced hope that the bloc will approve a new financial instrument with a total funding of 50 billion euros ($52 billion) for the 2024-2027 period, calling on the Foreign Ministers to continue diplomatic work on the implementation of Ukraine's Peace Formula.
"The EU Foreign Ministers' meeting in Kiev adds strength, leadership, and initiative to Europe. Active European leadership is essential. The more joint and principled steps in defense, diplomacy, economy, and sanctions we take together, the sooner the war will end in just peace," he said in a post on X.
Meanwhile, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said the total amount of EU's aid to Ukraine has reached 85 billion euros and the EU will support the country for as long as necessary.
"I proposed a new bilateral multi-annual envelope under the European Peace Facility (EPF), of up to 5 billion euros for the next year and more will come," Borrell told a joint press conference with Kuleba after the meeting.
In June 2022, EU leaders accepted Ukraine as a candidate for membership of the bloc amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Kiev.