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Ukraine president expects Russia attacks to intensify with EU summit this week

Ukraine president expects Russia attacks to intensify with EU summit this week
June 20, 2022 Web Desk

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy predicted Russia will escalate its attacks this week as European Union leaders consider whether to back his country's bid to join the bloc and Russia presses its campaign to win control of east Ukraine.

"Obviously, this week we should expect from Russia an intensification of its hostile activities," Zelenskiy said in a Sunday nightly video address. "We are preparing. We are ready."

Ukraine applied to join the EU four days after Russian troops poured across its border in February. The EU's executive, the European Commission, on Friday recommended that Ukraine receive candidate status.

Leaders of the 27-nation union will consider the question at a summit on Thursday and Friday and are expected to endorse Ukraine's application despite misgivings from some member states. The process could take many years to complete.

The EU's embrace of Ukraine would interfere with one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's stated goals when he ordered his troops into Ukraine: to keep Moscow's southern neighbour outside of the West's sphere of influence.

Putin on Friday said Moscow had "nothing against" Ukraine's EU membership, but a Kremlin spokesperson said Russia was closely following Kyiv's bid especially ...