On Monday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, announced that the foreign ministers of the EU were convening in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, to deliberate on the country’s aspirations for EU membership.
Borrell said the meeting was intended as a show of support for the country amid Russia’s full-scale war of aggression.
“We are convening a historic meeting of EU Foreign Ministers here in Ukraine, candidate country and future member of the EU. We are here to express our solidarity and support to the Ukrainian people,” he tweeted.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Monday welcomed the event.
“This a historic event because for the first time ever the foreign affairs council is going to sit down outside of its current borders — outside the borders of the European Union — but within future borders of the European Union,” he told reporters.
The EU granted Ukraine candidate status alongside Moldova last year. Six other countries currently have official EU candidate status — Turkey, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.
Two others, Georgia and Kosovo, are potential candidate countries.
The challenges of such wide expansion were discussed by governments on Thursday, with significant changes to the bloc’s decision-making, agriculture, and regional aid budgets expected ahead of further growth.
The regional governor of the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson said at least one person had died in shelling overnight that also injured six others.
Oleksandr Prokudin said Russian forces had launched 71 attacks in the past 24 hours, “aimed at the residential districts.”
He said the attacks targeted establishments such as shops and medical facilities. Prokudin said 20 of the air and land-launched strikes targeted the city of Kherson, the region’s administrative district.
Ukraine drove Russian forces out of part of the Kherson region last November after several months of occupation.
However, Russian troops have continued shelling the regional capital and its surroundings from across the Dnipro River.