The European Union agreed Monday to consider requests to join the bloc by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, European neighbors of Russia, amid Moscow’s recent invasion of Ukraine.
The EU is known for its years-long process of validating new member states, often lasting up to a decade.
Ambassadors for the EU said that their first step is to ask the group’s executive to give an opinion on the three applications, The Agence France-Presse reported.
After the executive opinion is given, member states of the commission are required to vote unanimously in favor of each new nation’s candidacy for membership.
Leaders of the EU will begin to discuss the three applications as soon as this week at a summit in France about the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Western response.