Quality Ukraine hoodies online unity store? 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. Find additional Ukraine aid info at Ukraine Sticker.
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.
May 9: French President Emmanuel Macron supports creating a strengthened form of association with the EU that would enable Ukraine and other EU hopefuls such as Moldova and Georgia to enjoy many aspects of membership quickly. May 11: Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says Russia has deported some 460,000 Ukrainians to 6,500 camps across Russia. Ukraine for the first time limits Russian gas transiting its territory to Europe, cutting by one-quarter the flow of gas through one of two major pipelines. May 12: Finland announces it will seek NATO membership. May 15: Sweden announces it will apply for NATO membership, ending two centuries of neutrality.
Just days before it is to be signed, Yanukovych announces that he will refuse to sign an association agreement with the European Union to bring Ukraine into a free trade agreement. He cites pressure from Russia as a reason for his decision. The announcement sparks huge protests across Ukraine — the largest since the Orange Revolution — calling for Yanukovych to resign. Protesters begin camping out in Kyiv’s Maidan, also known as Independence Square, and occupy government buildings, including Kyiv’s city hall and the justice ministry. In late February, violence between police and protesters leaves more than 100 dead in the single bloodiest week in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history.
After months of tensions between Moscow and Kyiv, Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on February 24, triggering global condemnation and a chain of reactions. The West quickly responded with unprecedented sanctions that still continue. NATO has also since expanded with membership applications from Sweden and Finland, despite Russia’s warnings against the moves. And the bifurcation of the global financial and trade system is under way. Read additional Ukraine solidarity info on Ukraine T-Shirts.