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BRUSSELS: European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday that Brussels aimed to present its framework for EU accession talks with Ukraine by the “beginning of summer”.

European leaders agreed in December to open membership talks with Kyiv in a historic move almost two years into Russia’s war on the country.

For the European Union and Ukraine to start negotiations, the executive, led by von der Leyen, must draw up a framework for the talks, which must be approved by all 27 EU member states.

Russia says G20 Ukraine discussion is ‘destructive’

Von der Leyen said her “best guess” was that the framework would not be ready before European Parliament elections in June.

“This will take its time. But I guess around summer, beginning of summer, we’re going to be ready,” von der Leyen told journalists.

Ukraine and its strongest EU supporters have been pushing for the talks to move faster.

In December, Brussels said Ukraine needed to meet conditions set out a year ago on issues such as judicial reforms and fighting corruption to move to the next step.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, the EU’s most pro-Russian leader, has repeatedly spoken out against Ukraine’s membership bid, though he allowed the decision to open talks to go through in December.

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