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A possible path to EU for Ukraine as Russia presses its assault

Ukraine was recommended for membership Friday by the executive body of the European Union, a symbolic boost for the embattled country but one that did not slow down the Russian onslaught in the east that is killing civilians and flattening cities.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and a large number of Western-oriented citizens who turned against Russia's invasion had long wished to join a new union created to safeguard peace on the continent and to serve as an example of rule of law.

The surprising success of the Ukrainian forces against larger and more equipped Russian forces was due to the political and military support Ukraine received from Western countries. Also, Zelenksyy has called for better and more direct weapons for the eastern Donbas region of the country to help turn the tide.

At a summit next week in Brussels, leaders of the 27-nation bloc will discuss the European Commission's recommendation that Ukraine become a candidate for membership. As a result of the war, EU governments are feeling more pressure to speed up the process of Ukraine becoming a candidate.

EU members remain divided over how quickly and fully to open their arms to new members, however, because the process is expected to take years.

17 June 2022


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