Zelenskiy Warns Europe at Risk of Russian Hostilities Over EU Candidacy

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy predicted that Russia will intensify its attacks against Ukraine this week, and warned European partners and allies that they too should be prepared for an increase in hostilities as Ukraine awaits a decision on its bid to join the European Union. 

The European Commission recommended that Ukraine be granted candidate status to join the EU at the end of last week, which was a diplomatic blow to Russia. 

Zelenskiy said in a video address Sunday night that today begins a historic week, and that there have been few such fateful decisions for Ukraine. 

He said that in such a week, greater hostile activity should be expected from Russia, not only against Ukraine but also against other European countries. 

European leaders will meet this week to give their final decision on whether Ukraine is seen as an official EU candidate. Ukraine’s membership in the EU has been fast-tracked after Russia invaded the nation in February. 

Foreign ministers of the EU member states will discuss today in Luxembourg further support for Ukraine, as well as exchange views on granting Ukraine EU candidate status. 

If granted, it will put Ukraine in a position it has long sought and put within reach an aspiration that would have been otherwise harder to achieve for the country. 

The European Commission backing Ukraine for EU candidate status was a huge step towards Ukraine joining. That recommendation from the EU’s executive arm will now be discussed by the 27 nations. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow has “nothing against” the move, but a Kremlin spokesperson said that Russia was indeed following the bid closely, especially in light of increased defense cooperation among member nations. 

There will be a summit of EU leaders this week from June 23 to June 24. 

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