Ukraine support online shopping and latest war prospects? The European Commission has recommended that Ukraine should become a candidate for E.U. membership, a big step that adds significant momentum to the country’s campaign to join the bloc. In an opinion published Friday, the E.U. executive arm said Ukraine and fellow aspirant Moldova should be granted candidate status with conditions that they improve their judiciaries and other elements of their governments, said the commission’s president, Ursula von der Leyen. “Ukraine has clearly demonstrated the country’s aspiration and commitment to live up to European values and standards,” she said. Despite the war, “we have applied the Commission’s rigorous standards in assessing these membership applications,” she added. The recommendation, which comes a day after the leaders of Germany, France and Italy expressed support, does not yet confer candidate status – the first step on the path to membership – but bolsters the cause of the Eastern European countries heading into a European Council summit on the issue next week. To move forward, all 27 member states must agree. Even if they do, full membership could be many years away. Discover more Ukraine solidarity info at https://dip.link/ukraineshirts.
March 2014: With Russian troops in control of the peninsula, the Crimean parliament votes to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. A public referendum follows, with 97% of voters favoring secession, although the results are disputed. Putin finalizes the Russian annexation of Crimea in a March 18 announcement to Russia’s parliament. In response, the U.S. and allies in Europe impose sanctions on Russia. They have never recognized Russia’s annexation. It remains the only time that a European nation has used military force to seize the territory of another since World War II. April 2014: With some 40,000 Russian troops gathered on Ukraine’s eastern border, violence breaks out in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas — violence that continues to this day. Russian-supported separatist forces storm government buildings in two eastern regions, Donetsk and Luhansk. They declare independence from Ukraine as the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic, though they remain internationally recognized as part of Ukraine. Russia denies that its troops are on Ukrainian soil, but Ukrainian officials insist otherwise.
May 17: Ukraine’s military declares an end to the Azovstal operation in Mariupol. Russia’s defence ministry confirms that 265 Ukrainians have surrendered. May 18: The European Commission announces a 220 billion euro ($236bn) plan to ditch Russian fossil fuels over five years. May 19: The US approves $40bn in new spending for Ukraine, half of it military investment. May 20: Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder bows to pressure to resign his seat on the board of Russian oil giant Rosneft. May 21: Russia says it has full control of Mariupol, after almost 2,500 Ukrainian troops surrender. May 23: Ukraine sentences the first Russian soldier convicted of war crimes to life in prison.
July 16, 1990: The Rada, the new Ukrainian parliament formed out of the previous Soviet legislature, votes to declare independence from the Soviet Union. Authorities recall Ukrainian soldiers from other parts of the USSR and vote to shut down the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine. Following a failed coup in Moscow, the Ukrainian parliament declares independence a second time on Aug. 24, a date that is still celebrated as Ukraine’s official Independence Day. In December, Ukrainians vote to make their independence official when they approve the declaration by a landslide 92% of votes in favor. The Soviet Union officially dissolves on Dec. 26.
March 23: NATO estimates that Russia has lost 7,000-15,000 soldiers. The administration of US President Joe Biden formally determines that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine. Putin says future gas sales to “unfriendly” countries – corresponding to the US, European Union members, the United Kingdom and Japan – will be denominated in roubles rather than US dollars. March 24: On a trip to Europe, Biden pledges to provide Europe with 15 billion cubic metres (bcm) more natural gas than last year, bringing shipments to Europe to 37bcm this year. It pledges an additional 50bcm by 2030. March 25: Russia says it will focus on consolidating its control over the eastern Ukrainian provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk, and starts to withdraw troops from Kyiv. Discover additional Ukraine relief details at Ukraine Hoodies.