International Desk: Ukraine has officially received the status of a member candidate of the European Union (EU). The announcement was made by Charles Michael, President of the European Council. European leaders are calling the decision a historic moment. European Council President Charles Michel on Thursday officially announced the candidacy of Ukraine's candidate, Reuters news agency reported. "This decision is a historic moment," said Charles Mitchell. Today marks an important step in your (Ukraine's) path to the EU. " Praising the decision, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said: "This decision is the most important for Ukraine since its secession from the Soviet Union 31 years ago. However, this decision is not just in the interests of Ukraine. This is the biggest step that can be taken now to strengthen Europe. ” "The decision comes at a time when Russia is testing Europe's independence and unity," he said. The mayor of the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, Vitaly Klitschko, has sent an emotional message to citizens who have faced aggression. "We have had to pay a very high price to get this opportunity," he wrote in a telegram. Yes, we still have a long way to go to join the European family. ” The first formal step in gaining EU membership is to gain candidate status. However, it may take a few years to become a full member and there is no guarantee that you can become a member only if you are a member candidate. Ukraine formally applied to join the European Union in February, just days after Russia's aggression. After that their membership process started at a fast pace. The president of the European Commission has said that the process of joining will be "logical". Formal negotiations will not begin until conditional reforms are made. These include strengthening the rule of law and fighting corruption. The commission will look into these by the end of 2022. Russia is now interested in gaining control of Eastern Europe after failing to achieve a quick victory in the four-month-long war by occupying Kiev. There is no sign of an end to the war, despite intense fighting. Conflict has spread to other parts of Europe.