hZelensky, in his daily video address, declared that today “starts a truly historic week”, during which Ukraine will have “the EU’s response on the status of the candidate”.
“Since 1991, there have been few decisions so vital to Ukraine as the one we are waiting for today,” he added, adding that he was “convinced that only a positive response is in the interest of the whole of Europe.”
Last Friday, the European Commission recommended to the Council granting Ukraine the status of a candidate country to join the European Union, “assuming that action will be taken in a number of areas.”
“We have a clear message: Yes, Ukraine deserves a European perspective, and yes, Ukraine should be welcomed as a candidate country,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen declared in Brussels.
Portugal will follow the opinion of the European Commission so that this status will be granted to Ukraine, which was announced last Friday by the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, after a day of hearings with parties with parliamentary representation on this issue.
EU member states meet on Thursday and Friday to decide whether to formally grant accession status to Ukraine’s candidate, which requires the consensus of the 27 countries.
Until then, Volodymyr Zelensky warned that “we obviously expect Russia to escalate its attacks this week.” “We are ready,” he added.
The Ukrainian leader said that the Russians were “regrouping their forces towards Kharkiv (northeast) and Zaporizhia region (south).” “They are still bombing our fuel infrastructure,” he added.
“We will respond to these attacks,” Zelensky stressed, acknowledging “significant losses.” “Our army is resisting,” he said.
“[Os russos] “They tried to advance in the Toshkivka region, they partially succeeded, but our artillery succeeded, and we can say that the attempt to advance was not successful,” said Sergei Gaidai, governor of the eastern Lugansk region.
In Lysychansk, there are indications of preparations for street fighting, with soldiers digging trenches and laying barbed wire and police putting burning vehicles in the streets to prevent the advance of Russian forces.
On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the capture of Metolkine, just outside Severodonetsk, and claimed that it had struck a factory in Mykolaiv, in the south, destroying “ten M777 155-mm howitzers and up to 20 armored vehicles supplied to the Western Kyiv system”.
In the early hours of February 24, Russia launched a military attack on Ukraine, which was condemned by a large part of the international community, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia.
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