President of Ukraine, Volodymyr ZelenskyHe expected Russia to step up its attacks this week, warning European partners that they must also be prepared for an increase in hostilities as Kyiv awaits a decision on its bid to join the European Union.
This warning comes after the European Commission’s recommendation to Kyiv candidate status granted To join – a diplomatic blow to Moscow.
“Tomorrow will begin a historic week,” Zelensky said in a video speech on Sunday evening, adding: “There have been quite a few such fateful decisions. Ukraine.
This week, we should expect more hostile activity than Russia. And not only against Ukraine, but also against other European countries. We are preparing. we are ready. We warn partners.”
European leaders are due to meet this week to give their final decision on Ukraine’s express membership application.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow “has nothing against this move,” the Kremlin spokesperson said Russia is closely following Kyiv’s bid, especially in light of increased defense cooperation among member states.
The EU’s decision in favor of Kyiv’s eventual membership would put Ukraine on the right track to realize an ambition that was unattainable for the former Soviet republic before the Russian invasion.
“Entire generations have fought for a chance to escape from the prison of the Soviet Union and, like free birds, to travel to European civilization,” Verkhovna Rada Speaker, Ruslan Stefanchuk, said in a statement on Sunday.
On the battlefield, Russian forces continue their attempt to take full control of the eastern Donbass region, while Ukraine asserts that it has repelled new attacks.
Heavy fighting continues in Severodonetsk, with local officials conceding that Russia now controls most of the city.
On Sunday, Russia said it had captured the border village of Mytiolkin, and Russia’s state news agency TASS reported that many Ukrainian fighters had surrendered there. The Ukrainian military said Russia had achieved “partial success” in the region.
Luhansk Provincial Governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukrainian television that a Russian attack on Toshkivka, 35 kilometers (20 miles) south of Severodonetsk, “also achieved a degree of success.”
On the diplomatic front, EU foreign ministers will discuss ways to free millions of tons of grain stuck in Ukraine due to Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea port during a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.
Ukraine is one of the world’s largest suppliers of wheat, but its grain shipments have stalled and more than 20 million tons have been trapped in silos since Russia invaded and closed the ports.
It is hoped that an agreement with the support of the United Nations will be concluded to resume Ukrainian maritime exports in exchange for facilitating exports of Russian food and fertilizers. However, it remains unclear whether the European Union would intervene militarily in securing such a deal.
An EU official said: “Whether there will be a need in the future to escort these merchant ships is a question mark and I don’t think we’re there yet.”
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