President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said Ukrainians should value and be proud of granting Ukraine the status of EU candidate.
The head of state said that there is a dialogue on television, radio, on the Internet about what it means, what conditions Ukraine has to fulfill, how difficult it will be to fulfill and how many years it will take.
"And I want to say the following on this day. Let's rejoice at least a little. In a quiet, modest way, silently, but rejoice. For ourselves, for our beloved state. Let's feel the moment and the taste of this moment. Imagine conquering Everest. You reached the penultimate point. You didn't look around, didn't even take a breath and talk about the further way to the top. How difficult it will be to overcome the last 1,848 meters," Zelensky said in a video address on Saturday night.
Ukrainians should not devalue their own success, he said.
"Maybe we should first recall that we have already covered 7,000 meters? Let's not be ashamed to talk about our achievements. Let's not be a nation with a short memory and inferiority complex. We say: Ukraine has been granted EU candidate status. Let's say: Ukraine has gained EU candidate status. Did it fall from the sky? Haven’t we endured and done a lot?" the president said.
He also said Ukrainians should not be scared of the EU requirements.
"Because before that we successfully fulfilled hundreds. Let's not forget about it. Not for bragging, but for the belief that we will definitely overcome this path. We have covered 7,000 meters, so we will not stop - we will reach our Everest. Let's talk at least for a moment not about what awaits us, but about what we managed to do. Because, forgetting about it, we underestimate the significance of this step," Zelensky said.
He also recalled how many steps Ukraine has fulfilled: anti-corruption court, centers for providing administrative services, industrial visa-free regime, deoligarchization, land sale, digitalization, etc.
"And that's why I want to see us in one family. We deserved it. Realized it. Smile, please," he said.