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EU members to receive draft negotiation document next week in step toward Ukraine accession

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis (left) with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal

The European Commission plans to provide a draft negotiating framework to the European Union member states next week as the next step in talks over Ukraine's accession to the union, Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said during a trip to Kyiv.

"For next week, we are preparing the draft negotiating framework which we will then provide to the EU member states so that they can adopt the frameworks once the remaining four reforms for accession are taken by Ukraine," Dombrovskis said. "There, we commend Ukraine on the good progress made already."

The framework sets out guidelines needed to start talks that could lead to Ukraine's accession to the EU, a process that is likely to take years and require extensive reform in Ukraine. The possibility of accession however, already offers a boost to the morale and profile of Ukraine and will likely aid greatly in the country's reconstruction when the war is over.

Dombrovskis, who spoke in a press conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denyst Shmyhal, also said the commission will give Ukraine a payment of €4.5 billion this month as part of the recently approved €50 billion "Ukraine Facility" aid program, and another €1.5 billion in April.

"Our military support is increasing substantially this year," Dombrovskis added. "In total, over the last three years, the EU and Member States collectively provided military support worth €28 billion. For this year, EU Member States are planning some €21 billion. This is based on partial information so that the actual amount will be even more."

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