As conflict in east rages on, Ukraine will get probability to ‘stay the European dream’ By Reuters


© Reuters. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stroll at Mykhailivska Sq., as Russia’s assault on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 17, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout by way of REUTERS


By Robin Emmott and Max Hunder

BRUSSELS/KYIV (Reuters) – With the conflict in Ukraine’s east raging on, Kyiv obtained a serious enhance when the European Union really useful that it grow to be a candidate to hitch the bloc, in what could be a dramatic geopolitical shift following Russia’s invasion.

EU leaders are anticipated to endorse the EU government’s suggestions for Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova, introduced on Friday, at a summit subsequent week.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy tweeted that the bravery of Ukrainians had created the chance for Europe to “create a brand new historical past of freedom, and at last take away the gray zone in Japanese Europe between the EU and Russia.”

In his nightly handle on nationwide tv, Zelenskiy stated the choice of the EU member states remained to be seen, however added: “You possibly can solely think about really highly effective European power, European independence and European growth with Ukraine.”

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen introduced the chief’s choice whereas wearing Ukrainian colors – a yellow blazer over a blue shirt.

“Ukrainians are able to die for the European perspective,” she stated. “We wish them to stay with us the European dream.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin railed on the West, america specifically, in a grievance-filled speech in St Petersburg on Friday, however sought to minimize the EU subject.

“We have now nothing towards it,” he stated. “It isn’t a army bloc. It is the proper of any nation to hitch financial union.”

Nevertheless, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated Russia was carefully following Ukraine’s EU bid, particularly within the gentle of elevated defence cooperation among the many 27-member bloc.

Ukraine utilized to hitch the EU 4 days after Russian troops poured throughout its border on in late February. It was joined days later by Moldova and Georgia – smaller ex-Soviet states additionally contending with separatist areas backed by Russia.

Although solely the beginning of a course of that will take a few years and require in depth reforms, the European Fee transfer places Kyiv on target to grasp an aspiration out of attain simply months in the past.

Considered one of Putin’s said aims in launching an invasion that has killed hundreds of individuals, destroyed cities and pushed thousands and thousands to flee was to halt the West’s eastward enlargement by way of the NATO army alliance.

Friday’s announcement underlined how the conflict has had the alternative impact: convincing Finland and Sweden to hitch NATO, and now the EU to embark on probably its most bold enlargement since welcoming Japanese European states after the Chilly Struggle.

In his speech, Putin denounced america for contemplating itself “God’s emissary on Earth” and stated Western intransigence had given Russia no selection however to launch its “particular army operation” in Ukraine.

He additionally questioned whether or not it was “advisable” for the EU to let Ukraine be a part of, saying Kyiv would wish enormous financial subsidies that different EU members might not be prepared to present.

Including gas to the worldwide showdown, Russian media broadcast pictures of what they stated have been two People captured whereas preventing for Ukraine. “I’m towards conflict,” each males stated in separate video clips posted on social media.


EU membership just isn’t assured – talks have been stalled for years with Turkey, a candidate since 1999. If admitted, Ukraine could be the EU’s largest nation by space and its fifth most populous.

Ukraine and Moldova are far poorer than present EU members and have current histories of unstable politics, organised crime and conflicts with Russian-backed separatists.

However in Zelenskiy, 44, and Maia Sandu, 50, they’ve pro-Western leaders who got here of age outdoors the Soviet Union.

The most recent overseas dignitary to go to Kyiv was British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who provided coaching for Ukrainian forces on Friday and stated Britain would stand by the Ukrainian individuals “till you finally prevail.”

In a web based article in International Coverage on Friday, Ukrainian International Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated the West mustn’t “counsel peace initiatives with unacceptable phrases” – an obvious reference to remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron this month that Russia should not be humiliated if a diplomatic resolution was to be discovered.

As a substitute, it ought to assist Ukraine win, not simply by offering heavy weapons however by sustaining and growing sanctions towards Moscow, Kuleba wrote.

“The West can not afford any sanctions fatigue, whatever the broader financial prices,” he stated. “It’s clear that Putin’s path to the negotiating desk lies solely via battleground defeats.”

Inside Ukraine, Russian forces have been defeated in an try and storm Kyiv in March. Russia has since refocused on the Donbas area within the east, which it claims on behalf of separatist proxies, and its forces have used their artillery benefit to blast their means into cities in a punishing attritional part of the conflict.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk area within the Donbas, stated in a put up on Telegram that 4 civilians have been killed and 6 have been injured in shelling on Friday.

Ukrainian officers stated their troops have been nonetheless holding out in Sievierodonetsk, in neighbouring Luhansk province and scene of the worst current preventing, nevertheless it was not possible to evacuate greater than 500 civilians trapped in a chemical plant as a consequence of shelling and heavy preventing.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai stated a key freeway out of Sievierodonetsk’s sister metropolis of Lysychansk was now impassable as a consequence of Russian shelling.

Within the south, Ukraine has mounted a counteroffensive and claims to have made inroads into territory seized by Russia.

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