The EU formally proposed on Thursday Ukraine As a candidate for membership in the 27-nation coalition, this could be a huge boost to the morale of the Ukrainian army, while also dealing a major blow to the Russian president Vladimir PutinThe driving force pulls Kyiv away from the west.
EU countries vote unanimously in favour as Russian invasion marks fourth month of fighting this week UkraineDuring the summit in Brussels, his candidacy, although the ratification process could take at least a few years. The EU’s move on Thursday was the latest unintended consequence of Trump. Putinwar Ukrainewhich he Hopes will trigger a rapid collapse of the Western-backed government in Kyiv and undermine the European Union and NATO Solidarity.
On the contrary, the West is against Russiadespite recent polls showing that public opinion in some European countries now supports a ceasefire, even at the expense of some Ukrainian concessions Moscow.
But the conflict has also sparked what Trump sees as a rapid expansion of the alliance. Putin Hope to destroy.
NATOFor example, it seems ready to welcome Sweden and Finland as new members.Both countries cite the war Ukraine as the core reason for their push to join the transatlantic alliance.Their candidacy will be at the top of next week’s main agenda NATO Madrid Summit.
Meanwhile, European leaders who have procrastinated in the past UkraineThe effort says the continent now has a moral obligation to help Kyiv by bringing the country into the EU.
“It will strengthen Ukraine, it will strengthen Europe.This is a decision about freedom and democracy that puts us on the right side of history,” European Parliament President Roberta Mezzola said of the vote Ukrainecandidacy.
The Pentagon has announced that it will send four High Mobility Rocket Artillery Systems (HIMARS) to the EU UkraineThis is the latest in a series of weapons provided by the United States and its allies that have helped Ukrainian forces fight a bloody war of attrition. UkraineDisputed East Donbass region.
The $450 million U.S. military assistance package announced Thursday also includes 36,000 rounds of ammunition, 18 tactical vehicles towed artillery, 1,200 grenade launchers, 2,000 machine guns and 18 coastal and river patrols, the Pentagon said in a statement. boat.
Ukrainian military leaders say the shipment of HIMARS, in particular, comes at a critical moment to give their troops the ability to stop a much larger Russian army bent on taking over the competitive Donbass region more territory.
“Thanks to my American colleague and friend Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for these powerful tools! Summer will be hot for Russian occupiers. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksi Reznikov, according to Reuters Say, some of them are the last.
HIMARS is just one example of a weapon system that Ukrainian officials say they need to effectively counter intruders.system will give Ukraine The ability to target Russian forces at greater distances and potentially slow down months-long Ukrainian shelling on Donbass positions.
pay the price
but RussiaThe uninterrupted attack on the Donbass has already taken its toll. Russian forces have destroyed major cities such as Mariupol and Sifdonetsk, making slow but steady progress elsewhere in the region, foreign intelligence officials said.
Since June 19, “it is very likely that the Russian army has surpassed [three miles] Approach south of Lysychansk, Donbas city,” the British Ministry of Defence tweeted on Thursday. “Some Ukrainian forces have retreated, possibly to avoid being surrounded. RussiaThe company’s improved performance in this area may be the result of the recent high concentration of unit reinforcements and fires. “
“With this slow advance on the edge of the built-up area, the Russian army is putting the Lysichansk-Sivierodonetsk pocket under increasing pressure,” the Russian Defense Ministry continued.
“The fighting continues on all sides,” the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk province, Shershi Heyday, wrote on the Telegram social media network on Thursday.
“Many defensive structures in the Siver Donetsk industrial zone have been destroyed, and we do not rule out the possibility of retreating to new, more fortified positions,” Mr. Khadai wrote.
However, British officials added RussiaThe broader goal of encircling the entire Donbas region and expelling all Ukrainian troops remains stalled.
But Ukrainian troops and civilians are paying an increasing price for their stronger-than-expected resistance.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the EU vote as a “victory” but also said in a video address Wednesday night that the region was still facing “massive air strikes and shelling”.
“The goal of the occupiers in this direction remains the same – they want to gradually destroy the entire Donbass,” he said, according to an English-language media translation of his remarks.
Both the Kyiv government and its Western allies are bracing for a protracted war of attrition.while the United States and NATO In the four months since, weapons, financial aid and military training have been invaluable for Ukrainian troops Russia When the invasion was launched, officials acknowledged that the battle could go on for months or even years.
Such a protracted conflict will test the limits of Western solidarity.
“My message has been, and still is, because it’s so hard to predict, we should be careful to draw any particular conclusions about how long this war might last. It could go on for weeks, months, but it could go on for years ,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday. “The political message is that no matter how long the war lasts, we need to prepare for the long term and be prepared to continue to fight for Ukraine. “
Mr Stoltenberg pledges coalition support Ukraine “As long as it needs to”.
“Part of the reason is that when we started to provide support, we actually took on some kind of responsibility, and you can’t stop in that kind of effort because they’re at war,” he said.
NATO Government remains largely united in punishing Moscow Economic sanctions and arms deliveries to Ukrainian troops on the front lines. Such solidarity no doubt frustrates Mr. Putinwho seems to have expected NATO Divide rather than provoke the wrath of the Kremlin.
“In a way, one of the PutinThe goal is to try to spread disunity, he It clearly failed,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters on a conference call on Thursday. “Because, as I said, our assessment is NATO Stronger and more united than ever. We really think this is the highest level of post-Cold War transatlantic solidarity. “
But there are signs that some of these public opinion NATO Countries may be changing. These shifts will increase pressure on European governments to find a path to peace.
A recent study by the European Council on Foreign Relations found that a majority of about 35 percent of Europeans favor “peace now, even if Ukraine makes concessions” Russia. ”
The survey, conducted in mid-May, sampled 8,000 Europeans.
About 22% of respondents said that “justice” was the most important consideration, and they believed that only RussiaThe apparent failure of the can bring peace. Another 23% refused to choose between the two options, while another 20% were classified as swing voters.
— This article is based in part on Telegram service reports.