Ukraine and Moldova are now considered candidate countries for membership of the European Union, European Council President Charles Michel announced on Thursday.

“The European Council has just decided to grant candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova,” he said on Twitter, before referring to a “historic” moment.

Agreement. #EUCO has just decided EU candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova.

At historic time.

Today marks a crucial step on your path towards the EU.

Congratulations @ZelenskyyUa and @sandumaiamd and the people of Ukraine \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 and \ud83c\uddf2\ud83c\udde9

Our future is together.

—Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) June 23, 2022

Also on Twitter, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky welcomed the European leader’s announcement and thanked “European leaders for their support”. “The future of Ukraine is in the European Union.”

Sincerely commend EU leaders’ decision at #EUCO to grant \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 a candidate status. It’s a unique and historical moment in \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6-\ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa relations. Thankful to @CharlesMichel, @vonderleyen and EU leaders for support. Ukraine’s future is within the EU. #EmbraceUkraine https://t.co/o6dJVmTQrn

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) June 23, 2022