Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has signed a formal request to join the EU, the country’s prime minister said on Monday.

“This is the choice of Ukraine and Ukrainian people. We more than deserve it,” Denys Shmyhal said on Twitter.

Meanwhile, in an open letter, the presidents of eight central and eastern European member states of the bloc called for granting Ukraine the status of an EU candidate.

“We, the Presidents of the EU member states: the Republic of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Poland, the Slovak Republic, and the Republic of Slovenia strongly believe that Ukraine deserves receiving an immediate EU accession perspective,” the letter said.

“Therefore, we call on the EU Member States to consolidate highest political support to Ukraine and enable the EU institutions to conduct steps to immediately grant Ukraine a EU candidate country status and open the process of negotiations,” it added.

Presidents also reiterated their support for Ukraine and its people in the letter.