The Eastern European countries of Georgia and Moldova are the latest to formally apply for membership in the European Union.
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garabishvili called the application “another milestone on the path of European integration” on the government’s official website.
Georgia had been planning on formally applying for membership in 2024, but after Ukraine officially signed the application on Friday, Georgia decided to expedite the process.
Moldova also began the application for EU membership on Thursday, according to President Maia Sandu.
Belonging to the EU will align the three countries closer to Europe and its western countries, creating a distance from Russia.
The three countries have already free-trade agreements with the EU.
When Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003, the application process lasted ten years.
Negotiations went on until 2011 and wasn’t officially accepted until 2013.
Ukraine’s membership approval process could take as long as 18 months.