Air raid alerts sounded across Ukraine on Friday as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hosted European Union leaders to discuss further sanctions on Russia and Ukraine’s prospects of joining the European bloc.
The head of the EU’s executive commission and the chairman of the 27 EU national leaders traveled to Kyiv to demonstrate support for Ukraine ahead of the first anniversary of Russia’s Feb. 24, 2022, invasion of its neighbor.
„There will be no let up in our resolve. We will also support you every step of the way on your journey to the EU,” EU chairman Charles Michel wrote on Twitter on Friday morning under a picture of himself on a square in downtown Kyiv.
There were no immediate reports of missile strikes following the air raid warning.
Zelenskiy is calling for more EU sanctions against Russia.
Kyiv applied to join the bloc days after Russia invaded last year. The EU gave the green light to its application, but has said it won’t fast track Ukraine’s membership.
EU officials have listed multiple entry requirements, from political and economic stability to adopting various EU laws—something that it likely to take years.
EU officials they discussed more arms, money and energy support for Ukraine in Thursday and better access for its products in the EU market, tightened sanctions on Moscow, and efforts to prosecute Russian war crimes.
The EU has demanded more anti-corruption measures from Ukraine, which is perceived as having endemic graft. Zelensky has announced firings and investigations of a handful of officials, singling out the defense ministry for needing a clean-up.
Russia has intensified its assault in eastern Ukraine. It says a major objective in Ukraine is securing the rest of Donetsk province, one of four it unilaterally annexed in September.
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