President Zelensky hails 'victory' as Ukraine is granted EU status.

PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zelensky hails 'great victory' as Ukraine is finally granted European Union membership status.

European leaders on Thursday (June 23) granted Ukraine the much-coveted status of official candidate to join their 27-nation union, in a bold geopolitical move hailed by Ukraine and the EU itself as a "historic decision".

"This is a victory," a smiling Zelenskiy said in a brief video posted released by his office, noting Ukraine had waited 30 years for this moment.

"We can defeat the enemy, rebuild Ukraine, join the EU, and then we can rest," he said in a low voice.

"Or perhaps we won't rest at all - our children would take offence. But without any doubt, we will win."

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