Zelensky warns against greater Russian hostility amid EU bid

by IANS |

Kiev, June 20 (IANS) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned of "greater hostile activity" by Russia in the coming days, as Kiev awaits news on its bid to join the European Union (EU), the media reported on Monday.

In his nightly video address to the nation, the President said on Sunday: "Tomorrow a historic week begins. One of the most important since 1991. A week when we will hear the answer from the European Union on the candidate status for Ukraine.

"And in such a week, we should expect greater hostile activity from Russia. Purposefully, demonstratively. And not only against Ukraine, but also against Europe.

"We are preparing. We warn partners. And we are grateful to everyone whose strength today means our victory tomorrow."

Just four days after Russia launched its invasion of Kiev on February 24, Zelensky had signed an official appeal to the EU asking for the accession of Ukraine via a new special procedure.

And on June 11, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc will finalise the assessment on granting Ukraine EU candidate status by the end of that week.

Von der Leyen gave the EU membership questionnaire to the Ukrainian President during her visit to Kiev in April.

The first part of the document was submitted to the EU on April 18, while the second was delivered on May 9.

However, observers say even with candidate status, it may take years, if not decades, for Ukraine to obtain EU membership.

Zelensky's warning comes amid an ongoing Russian assault in the east of Ukraine, the BBC reported.

Moscow's forces in the region have been attempting to take complete control of the Donbas, parts of which were already held by pro-Russian separatists prior to the invasion.

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