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Zelensky Urges the E.U. to Admit Ukraine Immediately

todayFebruary 28, 2022 1

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President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine urged the European Union on Monday to grant his country immediate accession to the bloc in response to Russia’s invasion.

In a passionate speech aimed at rallying Ukrainians to continue to defend their country and encouraging further international support, he thanked E.U. countries that have decided to supply arms to Ukraine over the past few days and said he had spoken to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, to urge her to take “even stronger steps.”

“We appeal to the European Union for Ukraine’s immediate accession under a new special procedure,” Zelensky said in a video broadcast from the capital, Kyiv. “Our goal is to stand alongside all Europeans and, most importantly, to stand on their level.”

The European Union wants Ukraine to join the bloc “over time,” Ms. von der Leyen said in an interview with Euronews on Saturday, although she gave no indication of timing.

Ukraine took a first step to joining the European Union in early 2014, but progress toward accession has been slow. Kyiv’s turn toward the European Union and the West has angered President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and has helped fuel a conflict involving Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Mr. Zelensky also said that 4,500 Russian soldiers had died since the country invaded last Thursday, although the claim could not be independently verified. Ukrainian children were among the victims of Russian shelling, he said, with 16 killed and 45 wounded. But he added that the fighting had shown the strength of Ukraine’s people, who had experienced as much carnage in the last few days as other nations have seen in decades.

“We stand firm,” Mr. Zelensky said. “Europeans are aware that our soldiers are fighting for our country and, consequently, for the whole of Europe.”

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Here’s the latest news from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As Ukraine’s second largest city reeled under a barrage of Russian rockets that left dozens of people dead, officials said, a Ukrainian delegation met counterparts from Russia on Monday in Belarus for talks that held little hope for an immediate end to the fighting that has sparked a nationwide resistance in Ukraine and left Russia’s economy increasingly isolated from the world.Among Monday’s major developments:The leader of Belarus, Aleksandr G. Lukashenko, […]

todayFebruary 28, 2022 1