Ukraine T-Shirts online shop and latest war data? 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 even more Ukraine solidarity details on Ukraine Hoodies.
Russia renews its troop presence near the Ukraine-Russia border, alarming U.S. intelligence officials, who travel to Brussels to brief NATO allies on the situation. “We’re not sure exactly what Mr. Putin is up to, but these movements certainly have our attention,” says U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Biden, speaking with Putin on a phone call, urges Russia not to invade Ukraine, warning of “real costs” if Russia does so. Putin issues a contentious set of security demands. Among them, he asks NATO to permanently bar Ukraine from membership and withdraw forces stationed in countries that joined the alliance after 1997, including Romania and Balkan countries. Putin also demands a written response from the U.S. and NATO.
March 26: During a visit to US troops in Poland, Biden appears to suggest regime change in Moscow. “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,” Biden says of Putin. Biden backpedals on the remark the following day. March 29: Russian and Ukrainian negotiators meet in Istanbul. Ukraine puts forward a detailed proposal of neutrality. April 1: An Al Jazeera report reveals that Russia is using proxy groups in Syria to recruit fighters for Ukraine. April 2: As Russian troops withdraw from Bucha, a town northwest of Kyiv, dozens of corpses in civilian clothes are found on the streets.
Following efforts by Yushchenko and Tymoshenko to bring Ukraine into NATO, the two formally request in January that Ukraine be granted a “membership action plan,” the first step in the process of joining the alliance. U.S. President George W. Bush supports Ukraine’s membership, but France and Germany oppose it after Russia voices displeasure. In April, NATO responds with a compromise: It promises that Ukraine will one day be a member of the alliance but does not put it on a specific path for how to do so. An employee of the state-owned Russian natural gas company Gazprom works at the central control room of the company’s headquarters in Moscow on Jan. 14, 2009.
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.