Status: 08.12.2023, 05:10 a.m.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is trying to get his country to join the EU. © Michael Kappeler/dpa
It seems increasingly questionable whether the EU will decide on the official start of accession negotiations with Ukraine in a few days. Nevertheless, Kiev is confident. The overview.
Kyiv - About a week before the possible decision on the start of EU accession negotiations for his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has once again expressed hope. It is Ukraine's "priority" to make final decisions in parliament, for example, so that Ukraine meets all the required conditions, Zelensky said in his evening address. "We believe that the EU will also fulfill all its promises to Ukraine," he added.
Ukraine received candidate status in 2022. A large majority of EU states now want to decide at a summit meeting on 14 and 15 December, among other things, on the official start of accession negotiations for the country attacked by Russia. But it is still questionable whether this will happen.
A decision is only possible if no EU member state vetoes it - and just a few days ago, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban threatened to block it. Among other things, he criticises the fact that Ukraine has not yet fulfilled all the reform requirements. Some diplomats, however, believe it is conceivable that Orbán's threats are in fact primarily aimed at increasing pressure in order to obtain frozen EU funds for his country.
Blinken: Ukraine aid creates growth and jobs in the US
In the face of great political resistance to further aid to Ukraine, the US government is now also resorting aggressively to economic arguments in order to promote further support for Kyiv. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday after meeting with his British counterpart David Cameron in Washington: "If you look at the investments that we've made in the defense of Ukraine (...), 90 percent of the security assistance we've provided has actually been spent here in the United States — with our manufacturers." Blinken stressed, "This has created more American jobs and more growth in our own economy."
The U.S. is Ukraine's main military backer in the defensive fight against the Russian invasion. Since the war began in late February 2022, the U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military aid to Kyiv. However, the release of new US aid is currently blocked by a domestic political dispute between Democrats and Republicans in the US Parliament.
Britain accuses Russia of hacking
According to the British government, the Russian secret service FSB has tried to interfere in British politics with cyber attacks on politicians, journalists and non-governmental organizations. "I can confirm today that the Russian Security Service (FSB) is behind ongoing efforts to interfere in our democratic processes," Foreign Secretary Leo Doherty told parliament in London. Russia rejected the accusations.
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The UK government said: "While some attacks resulted in documents being leaked, attempts to interfere in UK politics and democracy have been unsuccessful." The attacks on parliamentarians of all parties have been going on since at least 2015.
Iran's president visits Moscow
During a visit to Moscow, Iranian leader Ebrahim Raisi accused Israel of bombing the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. The attacks must stop, he demanded at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. During their meeting, Putin and Raisi also spoke out in favour of expanding bilateral cooperation. Putin cited the energy sector and major infrastructure projects.
Iran is Moscow's most important partner in the region, including as a supplier of weapons to the Ukraine war. Cooperation is to become even closer through a free trade agreement between the Russian-dominated Eurasian Free Trade Area and Iran. It will also be included in the BRICS group of important emerging economies and in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in which Moscow plays an important role.
Kiev speaks of 28,000 civilians in captivity
The government in Kiev suspects that around 28,000 Ukrainian civilians from the occupied territories are in Russian captivity. About 2000,65 of these prisoners are over <> years old, the government's human rights commissioner, Dmytro Lubinets, said in Kyiv, according to Ukraine's Ukrinform news agency. What exactly the Ukrainian estimate is based on was not clear from the report.
What will be important on Friday
Heavy fighting continues in Ukraine. The Ukrainian army continues to be under particular pressure, especially in the eastern Donetsk region near the city of Avdiivka. Dpa