Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday signed and submitted an official request for Ukraine to join the European Union (EU).

The news of the submission of the application comes hours after the President urged the EU in a video conference to grant Ukraine an immediate membership.

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“We appeal to the European Union for the immediate accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure. Our goal is to be together with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be on an equal footing,” Zelensky had said earlier.

“I’m sure it is fair. I’m sure it is possible,” the 44-year-old had said, urging swift EU action.

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Ukraine’s official bid to join the EU, if approved, may realistically take years to actually materialize, given the fact its membership has to be unanimously approved by the 27 nations in the bloc. However, under the circumstances, it appears to be a powerful symbolic gesture of unity and alliance with the West in the face of Russian aggression.

Zelensky’s move to try and secure EU membership also comes on a day when Ukraine and Russia held their first diplomatic talks since the invasion began on February 24 to try and bring an end to the violence, but the meeting concluded with no immediate agreements and both parties have returned to their capitals for further consultation.

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“Ukrainian and Russian delegations held the first round of negotiations. Their main goal was to discuss ceasefire and the end of combat actions on the territory of Ukraine. The parties have determined the topics where certain decisions were mapped out,” Zelensky’s adviser, Mikhaylo Podolyak, told reporters after the conclusion of the meeting.

“In order for these decisions to be implemented as roadmap, the parties are returning for consultations to their capitals. The parties discussed holding another round of negotiations where these decisions can develop,” he added, hinting at future meetings.

It has been nearly a week since Russia moved its troops into Ukraine, but a cessation of violence seems nowhere in sight as of now.