Ukraine, Moldova will tackle reforms quickly - EU's von der Leyen

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday said she was convinced that Ukraine and Moldova will move as swiftly as possible to implement necessary reforms.

"There can be no better sign of hope for the citizens of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in these troubled times," she told reporters on the sidelines of an EU summit in Brussels after both countries were granted EU candidate status, adding that they still had to do homework.

"I am deeply convinced that our decision that we have taken today strengthens us all. It strengthens Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia in the face of Russian aggression," she said.

"And it strengthens the European Union because it shows once again to the world that the European Union is united and strong in the face of external threats."

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Bart Meijer and John Chalmers)