Ursula Von Dmytro Kuleba Volodymyr Zelenskiy Russia Eu Ukraine city Brussels UPS BLOCK Progressive Align Ursula Von Dmytro Kuleba Volodymyr Zelenskiy Russia Eu Ukraine city Brussels

EU leaders to grant Ukraine candidate status in blow to Putin

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European leaders are poised to grant Ukraine candidate status, in a historic decision that opens the door to EU membership for the war-torn country and deals a blow to Vladimir Putin.EU leaders meeting in Brussels are expected to approve Ukraine’s candidate status later on Thursday, nearly four months after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy launched his country’s bid to join the bloc in the early days of the Russian invasion.The move from applicant to candidate usually takes years, but the EU has dramatically accelerated the process, amid outrage over the brutality of the unprovoked Russian attack, and to show solidarity with Ukraine’s defenders.“Ukraine is going through hell for a simple reason: its desire to join the EU,” tweeted the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, on the eve of the summit.

The commission last week called on EU leaders to grant Ukraine’s candidate status. “Our opinion acknowledges the immense progress that [Ukrainian] democracy has achieved since the Maidan protests of 2014,” Von der Leyen said.Welcoming the expected positive decision, Zelenskiy said: “This is like going into the light from the darkness.”Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said candidate status would “draw a line under decades of ambiguity and set it in stone: Ukraine is Europe, not part of the ‘Russian world’”.​Speaking of the candidate status decision, Ukraine’s ambassador to the EU, Vsevolod Chentsov, said earlier this week that the EU had moved at “lightning speed” by its standards.“We need this clarity [on EU membership] to support the Ukrainian army, Ukrainian society, morally, psychologically, and to get the clear feeling and understanding of the direction of movement for Ukraine,” he said.Ukraine has

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