President of Ukraine, Volodymyr ZelenskyHe expects Russia to step up its attacks this week, warning European partners they must also prepare for increased hostilities as Kyiv awaits a decision on its European Union candidacy.
This warning comes after the European Commission’s recommendation to Kyiv candidate status granted To join – a diplomatic blow to Moscow.
“Tomorrow will start a historic week,” Zelensky said in a video address Sunday night, 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 notify partners.
European leaders are due to meet this week to give their final decision on Ukraine’s express application for membership.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow “has nothing against the move”, the Kremlin spokesman said Russia was following Kyiv’s bid closely, especially in light of increased cooperation in defense matters between Member States.
The EU’s decision in favor of Kyiv’s eventual membership would put Ukraine on the right track to realize an ambition unattainable for the former Soviet republic before the Russian invasion.
“Entire generations fought for a chance to escape from the prison of the Soviet Union and, like free birds, to travel to European civilization,” Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk said on Sunday. , in a press release.
On the battlefield, Russian forces are continuing their bid to take full control of the eastern Donbass region, while Ukraine says it has repelled further attacks.
Heavy fighting continues in Severodonetsk, with local officials admitting that Russia now controls most of the city.
On Sunday, Russia said it had captured the border village of Mytiolkin, and Russian state news agency TASS reported that scores of Ukrainian fighters had traveled there. Ukraine’s 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 some success”.
On the diplomatic front, EU foreign ministers will discuss ways to release millions of tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine due to Russia’s blockade of the Black Sea port at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.
Ukraine is one of the world’s biggest wheat suppliers, but its grain shipments have stalled and more than 20 million tonnes have been stuck in silos since Russia invaded and closed ports.
It is hoped that an agreement with the support of the United Nations will be reached to resume Ukrainian maritime exports in exchange for facilitating Russian food and fertilizer exports. However, it is still unclear whether the European Union would intervene militarily to obtain such an agreement.
An EU official said: “Whether there will be a need to escort these merchant ships in the future is a question mark and I don’t think we are there yet.”