The European Union’s executive arm recommended on Friday that Ukraine become a candidate for membership, the first step in a process that could take decades.
Bloc leaders are due to discuss the approval next week in Brussels.
“Ukraine has clearly demonstrated its aspiration and determination to live up to European values and standards,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen day said Twitter. We want them to live with us the European dream.”
The Russian invasion in February increased pressure to speed up the establishment of the Ukraine candidate. But accession talks require unanimous approval from all 27 member states, and some disagree on how quickly the admissions process should begin.
The announcement comes as Russia has continued its attacks on cities in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, leaving desperate residents wondering what the years ahead have in store for them.
The latest developments:
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the International Economic Forum in Saint Petersburg on Friday after the Kremlin said “massive cyberattacks” had delayed his appearance, according to Washington Post And the CNN.
► Ukraine It will not host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023Organizers announced Friday. In May, the Ukrainian band The Kalush Orchestra won the competition with “Stefania” And the right to host next year’s event.
The United Kingdom said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Ukraine on Friday for a surprise visit, his second since the start of the Russian invasion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday criticized the United States for its “reckless and crazy” sanctions against the Kremlin, claiming that his economy would overcome the financial consequences of his war in Ukraine.
Families of two men from Alabama. Who went missing near Kharkiv in last week’s battle and feared to be captured –They told USA TODAY they hope the men can be released.
Joey Black’s fiancé Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, a 27-year-old former Marine, made a will, said goodbye to her and left Hartselle, Alabama, in April to help the Ukrainians fend off Russian forces.
That same month, not far away in Tuscaloosa, former Army Sergeant Alexander Drake, a 39-year-old Iraq veteran, traded for a month before deciding to pack his equipment for Ukraine.
On Friday, Russian state television showed a video clip of the two men, confirming that they were being held and raising concerns about their fate. They are believed to be the first Americans detained by Russian forces since the war began on February 24.
Previously, Derwick’s aunt Diana Shaw, 55, had urged the government to help bring them home. “We appeal for Alex and Andy’s humane treatment in the meantime,” Shaw said in a text message to USA TODAY Friday if they were in custody. “Coach Nick Saban always tells us Bama fans to ‘trust the process’ and that’s exactly what we do.”
On Friday, President Joe Biden said he had been briefed. “We do not know where they are, but I want to repeat: Americans should not go to Ukraine now. Say it again: Americans should not go to Ukraine,” he told reporters. Read more here.
– Chris Kenning, USA TODAY
In a rare interview with a news organization, President Biden told The Associated Press on Thursday “There was a price to pay” to help Ukraine, but not acting would have been worse.
“You will see chaos in Europe,” Biden said. The Russians may have continued to enter other countries and China and North Korea could have been encouraged to take their own steps.”
Asked about the political risks he now faces from rising gas prices and whether Americans have a daily sense of the national security risks he described, Biden said most families are just trying to figure out how to put food on the table. But he said that as president, he must be willing to make tough decisions despite any political consequences.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently acknowledged that the expanded children’s tax credit for the $1.9 trillion US bailout has increased demand and may have caused a “marginal” increase in food prices. Biden rejected this possibility.
You could argue whether it has a slight marginal effect on inflation. I do not think so. Most economists do not think so. “But the idea that it caused inflation is a strange one.” Read more here.
– Maureen Group, USA TODAY
The Russian-owned superyacht that was seized by the United States arrived in the port of Honolulu on Thursday raising the American flag after the United States won a legal battle in Fiji last week to seize the $325 million vessel.
The FBI has linked Amadea to the Russian oligarch Suleiman Karimov. The United States said Karimov secretly bought the Cayman-flagged ship last year through various front companies.
the ship Become a goal of the KleptoCapture teamIt began in March to seize the assets of the Russian oligarchs to pressure Russia to end the war in Ukraine. The 348-foot, football-tall vessel features a live lobster tank, a hand-drawn piano, a swimming pool and a large helipad.
Lawyer Faisal Hanif, who represented Millemarin Investments, the owner on paper, argued that the owner was another wealthy Russian who, unlike Karimov, does not face penalties.
The United States announced that it would send a $1 billion military aid package to Ukraine earlier this week – the largest aid appropriation provided by the United States since the invasion began.
The US aid package It includes $350 million in ready-made express shipments from the Pentagon and $650 million in other long-term purchases. The US Army will send to Ukraine 18 howitzers, 36,000 rounds of ammunition for it, tactical vehicles, as well as other equipment such as Harpoon coastal defense systems and safe radios.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Anna Maliar said this week that Ukraine has received only 10% of the military assistance it has requested from Western countries.
Meanwhile, France, Germany, Slovakia, Canada and Poland have pledged to send more military aid to Ukraine this week.
Dutch intelligence said on Thursday that a Russian military spy impersonated a Brazilian citizen in a bid to obtain training at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which is investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine.
The General Intelligence and Security Service identified the Russian intelligence officer as Sergei Vladimirovich Cherkasov, and said that in April he used an elaborately constructed identity to try to infiltrate the court. A letter attached to the application for training Cherkasov was published. Written under the pseudonym Victor Muller Ferreira, he wove a complex cover story about growing up in poverty in Brazil and how members of his family suffered from heart problems.
Cherkasov was arrested at a Dutch airport and deported to Brazil, where he could face court proceedings.
“If the intelligence officer had succeeded in gaining access as an intern to the ICC, he would have been able to gather intelligence there, search for (or recruit) sources, and arrange access to the ICC’s digital systems,” the Intelligence and Security Service said in a statement.
This would have made a “significant contribution” to the intelligence sought by Russia. The spy may also be able to influence criminal proceedings, the service said.
There was no immediate reaction from Moscow, although the attempted infiltration may indicate how seriously Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. The Kremlin has consistently denied the accusation, saying the West is fabricating a disinformation campaign against Russia.
– Kim Helmgaard
Contributing: The Associated Press