Ukraine awaits EU candidate status, Zelensky declares ‘historic week’ — live updates | UKTN | 20.06.2022

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  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks of a ‘historic week’ as Kyiv awaits EU candidate status

  • Moscow says its forces have captured the village of Metiolkine near Sievierodonetsk

  • Austria to reopen coal-fired power plant due to reduced gas supplies from Russia

This story was last updated at 02:44 UTC/GMT

European Commission chief von der Leyen ‘confident’ Ukraine will get candidate status

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said she was confident Ukraine would gain EU candidate status.

“I firmly believe that we will get a positive decision, that we will get support,” von der Leyen told German public broadcaster ARD.

“It is also a historic decision that the European Council must now take,” she said, adding that she was “confident” in Ukraine’s prospects.

On Friday, the committee voted in favor of granting candidate status to Ukraine and neighboring Moldova.

EU ministers to discuss impact of war in Ukraine on food and energy security

EU foreign ministers are due to discuss the impact of the Russian invasion on global food security and European energy security at a meeting of its Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.

Senior diplomat Josep Borrell said on Sunday that the EU was considering providing Egypt with up to 100 million euros ($105 million) to support the country’s agricultural sector and food reserves.

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is expected to join the ministers on Monday.

African countries have been particularly vulnerable due to the impact of war on global food distribution. Both Ukraine and Russia are major exporters of wheat and sunflower oil.

Zelensky declares ‘historic week’ as Ukraine awaits EU candidate status

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that a “historic week” had begun.

“I think it is obvious to everyone that since 1991 there have been few decisions as fatal for Ukraine as we now expect,” he said, referring to a expected decision from Brussels on Kyiv’s EU candidate status.

Zelenskyy added that Ukraine’s EU membership “meets the interests of all of Europe”.

The Ukrainian president warned that Kyiv expects an intensification of hostile activities by Russian forces, adding that Moscow was strengthening its forces near Kharkiv and in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Russia seizes a village near Sievierodonetsk

Russia said its forces seized the village of Metiolkine near Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region.

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The village had less than 800 inhabitants before the start of the invasion. It is located about six kilometers (four miles) southeast of the main industrial center of Sievierodonetsk.

The Ukrainian military said Russian forces had had “partial success” in the region.

Sievierodonetsk was the scene of heavy fighting between Moscow and Kyiv. Pictured are the aftermath of a military strike on the Azot chemical plant where the remaining Ukrainian forces in the city were entrenched.

Austria to reopen coal-fired power plant despite cuts in Russian gas supplies

The Austrian government has announced that it will reopen a coal-fired power plant that was previously closed due to shortages due to reduced Russian gas supplies.

The station is located in the southern town of Mellach in the state of Styria.

Austria’s chancellery said authorities will work with the country’s main supplier, Verbund, to reopen the station.

Austria’s environment ministry told the APA news agency that the process will likely take several months.

What happened during the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Sunday

Moldovan President Maia Sandu has signed a law banning the broadcasting of news programmes, political TV shows and war films from countries that have not ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, such as Russia.

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EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore arrived in Kyiv to show solidarity with Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada parliament passed a law banning music created by Russian citizens on radio, television and in public spaces.

Russian forces targeted a Ukrainian command post as senior Ukrainian military officers held a meeting, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The ministry said the strike killed more than 50 Ukrainian “generals and officers”.

Prominent Russian politician Konstantin Kosachev has denounced Lithuanian restrictions on rail transport between the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and the rest of Russian territory, calling them an “illegal” ban and a “nascent blockade”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to “take back everything that belongs to us” in southern Ukraine.

An intelligence update from the British Ministry of Defense said Russian troops invading Ukraine were likely suffering from “particularly troubled morale” amid high casualties, combat stress, pay issues and leadership perceived as poor.

You can review our Sunday updates here.

sdi/sri (UKTN, UKTN, dpa, Reuters)

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