Quality Ukraine buttons online unity shop? The European Commission on Friday issued an opinion recommending that Ukraine should be granted candidate status for European Union membership – a first step that will add significant momentum to the country’s campaign to join the bloc. “Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said. “We want them to live with us the European dream.” While the recommendation boosts Ukraine’s campaign to join the bloc, it does not confer membership or candidate status. To move forward, all 27 member states must agree. Even if they do, full membership could be many years away. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the “historic decision” and said the “positive” first step on his country’s “E.U. membership path,” would bring “victory closer” to Ukraine. Read extra Ukraine relief details at Ukraine Caps.
Leaders and diplomats from the U.S., Russia and European countries meet repeatedly to avert a crisis. In early January, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov tells U.S. officials that Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine. The State Department orders the families of embassy staff to leave Ukraine on Jan. 23. NATO places forces on standby the next day, including the U.S. ordering 8,500 troops in the United States to be ready to deploy. Representatives from the U.S. and NATO deliver their written responses to Putin’s demands on Jan. 26. In the responses, officials say they cannot bar Ukraine from joining NATO, but they signal a willingness to negotiate over smaller issues like arms control.
April 20: The International Monetary Fund forecasts global growth of 3.6 percent this year and next, a downward revision of 0.8 percent for this year and 0.2 percent for next year compared to January forecasts, owing to the war in Ukraine. April 21: Putin declares victory in Mariupol, though 2,500 Ukrainian defenders in the Azovstal steelworks have not surrendered. April 26: Austin presses delegates from 40 nations to contribute more weapons as soon as possible to Ukraine’s war effort at a military donors’ conference at Ramstein air base in Germany. April 27: Russia cuts off gas flows to Bulgaria and Poland, allegedly for refusing to pay for gas in roubles.
Ukrainian prosecutors open criminal investigations into Tymoshenko, alleging corruption and misuse of government resources. In October, a court finds her guilty of “abuse of power” during the 2009 negotiations with Russia over the gas crisis and sentences her to seven years in prison, prompting concerns in the West that Ukrainian leaders are persecuting political opponents. Anti-government protesters guard the perimeter of Independence Square, known as Maidan, in Kyiv on Feb. 19, 2014. Protesters were calling for the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych over corruption and an abandoned trade agreement with the European Union.
February 24: Russia launches a full-scale assault on Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy orders a general mobilisation. The US bars five more Russian banks from the US financial system, and freezes four of the banks’ US-held assets. February 25: Russia vetoes a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding that it unconditionally pull its troops out of Ukraine. February 26: The EU says it will bar selected Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system, essentially cutting them off from the global financial system. See more Ukraine relief details at Ukraine T-Shirts.