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Russia-Ukraine-News: Volodymyr Zelenskyj wants to negotiate EU membership in 2023


The Ukrainian President dreams that Ukraine will soon be part of the EU, but the EU is more reticent. And: For the first time, the US is sending money confiscated from a Russian billionaire to Kyiv. Recent Developments.

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EU Council President Charles Michel with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen


That happened in the past few hours

US Attorney General Merrick Garland

has announced that the

US will transfer money seized from a Russian oligarch to Ukraine for the first time


The money comes from the influential Russian billionaire Konstantin Malofeev, who is said to have circumvented sanctions against him.

It will first go to the US State Department, which will then use it "to support the Ukrainian people," Garland said, according to CNN.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin was also present at the announcement in Washington.

According to him, the transfer includes $5.4 million that would be used for "the reconstruction of Ukraine."

"All Ukrainians suffered from this war in one way or another," Kostin later wrote on Twitter.

Russia, as the perpetrator, must pay for the damage inflicted.

Meanwhile, authorities in

Russia's Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine,


indefinitely extended the "terrorist alert" in place

there .

The reason was the shelling of a factory by Ukrainian forces, Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov wrote on Telegram.

It is therefore obviously necessary to extend the yellow alert level – increased risk of terrorism – indefinitely.

This has been allowed by a decree by Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin since the beginning of the week.

If there is an increased risk of terrorism, the yellow and red alert levels, the freedom rights of the local population are curtailed, for example through curfews or vehicle and person checks.

Since the beginning of its war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia has been systematically shelling the neighboring country's territory, killing many civilians.

At the same time, Russia is complaining about the shelling of its own border regions by Ukraine.

That says Kyiv

After the summit with the EU in Kiev ,

Ukrainian President

Volodymyr Zelenskyy continues to

press for his country 's speedy accession to the European Union


"We are already speaking as members of the EU," Zelenskyy said in his daily video message on Friday evening.

The status only has to be anchored in law.

The EU Commission, headed by President Ursula von der Leyen, stressed in Kyiv that Ukraine still had a long way to go before EU membership.

There is no official schedule yet.

In June, the EU declared Ukraine, together with Moldova, to be a candidate for EU membership.

On the other hand, Zelenskyj said that the EU representatives held out the prospect of accession negotiations at the summit in Kyiv on Friday.

"There is an understanding that it is possible to start negotiations on Ukraine's membership of the European Union this year," said Zelenskyy.

»We are preparing Ukraine for greater integration into the EU's internal market - that means more income for Ukrainian companies, more production and jobs in our country.

And more income for our state and local households,” he promised.

International reactions

There were no such concrete statements from the EU side.

Commission President

von der Leyen had praised Selenskyj's determination and willingness to reform in Kiev, but also

emphasized that there was still a lot to do


The Vice President of the EU Parliament, Katarina Barley (SPD), also dampened Kiev's expectations of rapid EU accession.

"The fact that Ukraine was given candidate status so quickly was a very extraordinary process," said Barley on Friday evening in the ARD "Tagesthemen".

The country must fulfill the same conditions as all other candidate countries.

These included political, economic and legal criteria.

"All three fields are far from being fulfilled." It is not possible to hastily include a country for special reasons.

But there are also advantages associated with candidate status, especially financial support.

Barley emphasized that the country was in the middle of a war, so it was unlikely that progress on the accession criteria would be made particularly quickly.

Council President Charles Michel rhetorically almost made Ukraine a member: »Your future lies with us in our common European Union.

Your fate is our fate,” said the Belgian.

The German

Attorney General Peter Frank

has meanwhile spoken out in favor of a

criminal investigation of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine at international level


"Whether by the International Criminal Court or a special tribunal is ultimately a decision of the international community," he told the "Welt am Sonntag".

In March 2022, the German federal prosecutor's office initiated so-called structural investigations into war crimes in the Ukraine war.

The aim is to first secure as much evidence as possible without specific suspects.

Frank said there are currently indications in the three-digit range.

What will be important on Saturday

  • The battle for Bachmut in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk is particularly fierce (read a current report on the situation in Bachmuth here).

    Zelenskyj emphasized that Bakhmut will not be given up.

    The battle for the city is considered particularly costly.

    Bakhmut could be surrounded by Russian troops.

    The head of the Russian private mercenary group Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, criticized Telegram that Zelenskyy resisted requests to withdraw the Ukrainian troops.

    Bachmut is currently the "main event of this war".


Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2023-02-04

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