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25.06.2022 02:27 News >> Italian Premier Says Ukraine's EU Candidate Status Historic Step

Italian Premier Says Ukraine's EU Candidate Status Historic Step

Mario Draghi says move is important for Europe, Ukraine.

Italy's prime minister said Friday that granting Ukraine EU candidate status is a historic and important step.
Mario Draghi said the move is also important for the rest of Europe as well as for Ukraine.
His remarks were made at a news conference following a two-day EU Leaders' summit in Brussels.
He said Italy was the first to support the EU accession process of Western Balkan countries and noted that Rome believes Albania should continue negotiations alone in case a problem arises for North Macedonia during its membership process.
Serbia is currently engaged in talks with the EU, while the bloc's negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania have been on hold since 2020.
European leaders granted candidate status to Ukraine on Thursday in a historic move that paves the way for the war-ravaged country's EU membership.
EU leaders also approved Moldova's candidate status and announced that Georgia is next in line once it meets certain conditions.
Energy, inflation issues
Draghi said it is necessary to take steps on energy prices as noted it is behind the inflation problem.
Last week, the statistical office of the bloc announced that the European Union's annual inflation rate hit 8.8% in May, up from 8.1% in April.
Behind the objection to a price cap on gas caused by fears that Russia will cut off supplies, Draghi stressed that Moscow is already making cuts.
Germany and the Netherlands, which oppose the idea of a price cap, were more open, he said.
Draghi's proposal to hold an extraordinary summit in July to discuss the issue was not accepted, according to Italian media.
Italy's dependence on Russia for imported gas has decreased to 25% from 40% last year, Draghi noted. -



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