Belgian PM : Would be a mistake to close the EU's door to Ukraine

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Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo speaks to the press as he arrives for an emergency European Union (EU) summit at The European Council Building, on the situation in Ukraine after Russia launched an invasion in Brussels, Belgium February 24, 2022. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

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VERSAILLES, March 11 (Reuters) - Ukraine must respect all the necessary procedural steps before it can become member of the European Union but closing the door on the country would be a mistake, Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Friday.

"A EU membership process requires a lot of reforms and it's logical that would go step by step, otherwise we'll have countries that will become members of the EU without being ready for it", he said as he arrived for the second day of a meeting with his European counterparts at Versailles.

"But on the other hand, it would be a big mistake to close the door to countries, like Ukraine, who feel threatened. We should consistently keep working with them", he said.

"We could invite them to summits without them having any decision power (...) the Commission is working in creative ways in that respect. But to become member, you have to respect the process", De Croo added.

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Reporting by Bart Meijer and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sabine Siebold

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