Ukraine wants EU nod as Russia warns resistance “Futile”

EU leaders met Thursday for many years to join the Ukrainian block, despite tensions between Brussels and Moscow deepening over gas supplies and Russia approaching major cities in the embarrassed Donbus region. Discussed the bid.

“This is a decisive moment for the European Union … the choices that will determine the future of the Union, our stability, our security and our prosperity must be made today,” said the Council of the European Union. Chair Charles Michel told journalists before the meeting.

“We are waiting for a green light. Ukraine has won the position of a candidate,” Ukraine President Andrie Jermac said in Telegram.

However, EU accession is still a few years away, and the potential impact of Ukraine on its allies was looming through negotiations and prior to the next day’s G7 and NATO meeting.

Western officials have blamed Moscow’s “weaponization” of major gas and grain exports in the conflict, and US officials have warned of further retaliation at the German G7 summit starting Sunday.

Germany has raised its emergency gas program to a second alert level. This is less than one of the maximums that Russia may need to ration in Europe’s largest economy after it cuts supply.

“Gas is now a rare commodity,” Minister of Economy Robert Habeck told reporters, urging households to reduce their use.

France is now aiming to fully operate its gas stockpiles by early fall and will build a new floating methane terminal to supply more energy at sea, Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne said.

A Kremlin spokesman reiterated the claim that supply cuts were due to maintenance and that the necessary equipment had not arrived from abroad.

Meanwhile, in Ankara, British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said Russian President Vladimir Putin prevented grain shipments from leaving Ukraine’s ports, raising concerns about shortages, especially in Africa and the Middle East. I used hunger as a weapon. “

“It’s clear that this grain crisis is urgent and needs to be resolved by the end of next month, or it will have catastrophic consequences,” Truss said after meeting with Turkish counterpart Mevrut Chabsogur. There is a possibility. “

Russia pushes profits

On the ground of Donbas, the situation was becoming more and more urgent as Russian troops squeezed the strategically important city of Severodonetsk and its twin Lysychans’k across the Siverskyi Donets.

By occupying the city, Moscow will be able to control Lugansk as a whole, and Russia will be able to push further into Donbus and potentially further west.

Ukraine admitted Thursday that it had lost control of the two regions from where it was defending the city and that Russian troops had begun to surround the industrial center.

The British Ministry of Defense said some Ukrainian troops were probably forced to withdraw “to avoid being surrounded” as the troops slowly but steadily advanced towards Lysychansik.

“Russia’s improved performance in this sector is likely the result of recent troop strengthening and a large concentration of fires,” he said in a recent update.

A representative of Ukraine’s pro-Russian separatists told AFP that the Ukrainian army’s resistance to defend Lysychans’k and Severodonetsk was “meaningless and useless.”

“At the speed our soldiers go, the entire territory of the People’s Republic of Lugansk will soon be released,” said Andrey Marocco, a spokesman for the Lugansk Army.

Russian troops also said Thursday that bombings in the southern city of Mykolaiv destroyed 49 fuel storage tanks and three tank repair bases after a strike killed several Ukrainian troops on Wednesday.

However, Kieu, who is urging allies to send heavier weapons, welcomed the delivery of high-precision Himmer’s rocket guns from the United States on Thursday.

“Himal has arrived in Ukraine … it will be hot in the summer for Russian occupiers, and it will be the last summer for some of them,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Olexi Reznikov wrote on Twitter. ..

“Only grandma remained”

Moscow is about to occupy the vast eastern belt of the country after being pushed back from Kieu and other parts of Ukraine in the first few weeks of the invasion that began on February 24.

However, daily artillery continues elsewhere.

The northeastern city of Kharkiv near the Russian border was almost empty on Wednesday, AFP reporters said, the day after the bombardment by Moscow troops, five people died there.

“Last night, while I was sleeping, the building next to me collapsed in a bombing,” said Leila Shoidley, a young woman in a park near the opera house.

19-year-old Roman Pohuliay in a pink sweatshirt said most of the inhabitants had fled the city.

“Only grandma remains,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the central city of Zaporizhia, as Russian troops approached, women were training to use Kalashnikov assault rifles in urban warfare.

“When I can do something, I’m not too scared to pick up a machine gun,” said 29-year-old Ulyana Kyashko after moving through the improvisational combat zone in the basement.

Lithuanian crosshairs

Moscow has left the battlefield this week to summon an ambassador to Brussels in a dispute with EU member Lithuania over national restrictions on rail traffic to Russia’s outpost in Kaliningrad.

The coastal area annexed from Germany after World War II is about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from Moscow, bordering Lithuania and Poland, but not Russia.

Lithuania states that it is only complying with European Union sanctions against Moscow by blocking the arrival of goods from Russia.

The United States has revealed its commitment to Lithuania as an ally of NATO, and Germany has urged Russia not to “violate international law” by retaliation. Ukraine wants EU nod as Russia warns resistance “Futile”

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