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Ukraine must “have no illusions” about its EU candidacy warns Albania

10:13 a.m .: Ukraine must “have no illusions” about its candidacy for the EU

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama advised Ukrainians on Thursday not to “have any illusions” about the status of candidate granted by the European Union because the accession process will be very long.

“North Macedonia has been a candidate for 17 years, if I haven’t lost count, and Albania for eight years, so welcome to Ukraine”, he quipped on his arrival in Brussels at a meeting with EU leaders. “It’s a good thing to give status to Ukraine. But I hope the Ukrainian people will not have many illusions,” Rama added.

A choice must be made today which will affect the future of the European Union

Charles Michel

The summit organized this Thursday in Brussels will be “a historic moment” for the European Union with the decision to grant the status of candidate for accession to Ukraine and Moldova, said the President of the European Council Charles Michael. “A choice must be made today which will affect the future of the European Union, our stability, our security, our prosperity”, he declared on his arrival at the summit.

9:22 am: More than 150 cultural sites damaged or destroyed

More than 150 cultural sites have been partially or totally destroyed in nearly four months of war in Ukraine, announced the United Nations Organization for Science, Education and Culture (Unesco). “According to the verifications carried out by its experts, 152 cultural sites have been partially or totally destroyed due to the fighting, including 70 religious buildings, 30 historic buildings, 18 cultural centers, 15 monuments, 12 museums and 7 libraries”, indicates Unesco in a press release.

8:55 am: The EU prohibits access to its institutions to lobbyists from Russia

The three institutions of the European Union have banned access to their premises to lobbyists of Russian companies in Brussels in addition to the sanctions adopted after the invasion of Ukraine. The European Parliament was the first to act. “We must leave them no space to spread their propaganda and their false and toxic narratives about the invasion of Ukraine”, explained the speaker of the Maltese parliament Roberta Metsola. The Council (the body of the Member States) and the European Commission followed suit and “gave instructions not to receive any more people who represent a Russian interest”.

7:20 am: The G7 will make “concrete proposals” to “increase the pressure on Russia”

The weekend G7 summit in Germany will produce “a set of concrete proposals to increase pressure on Russia and show our collective support for Ukraine”, a senior White House official said. He did not, however, give details on what these measures would be, after Westerners have already multiplied the announcements of sanctions against the regime of Vladimir Putin.

The same source also indicated that the subject of energy, the cost of which is exploding in the world, would be “at the heart of the discussions” between the leaders of the United States, Germany, France, Canada, of Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom at this summit.

6:35 am: Two large agricultural terminals bombed in Mykolaiv

Two grain storage terminals were hit by Russian shelling on Wednesday in the port city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine. The Evri port terminal, owned by Viterra and dedicated to vegetable oils, was “damaged by a missile attack”, which left one person slightly injured, an official said, adding that two silos were on fire and a third damaged.

5:52 am: A decisive European summit this Thursday

A European summit is taking place this Thursday in Brussels to grant Ukraine official EU candidate status. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday called on European leaders to “rise to the occasion” by acceding to kyiv’s request. The European executive issued a favorable opinion on Ukraine’s candidacy a few days ago and on Tuesday, the French Minister for European Affairs Clément Beaune indicated that a “total consensus” between the Twenty-Seven had emerged on this question.

Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave which concentrates tensions

The enclave of Kaliningrad, located on the Baltic Sea, is at the center of new tensions between Russia and Europe, a consequence of the sanctions after the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

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5:50 am: The latest highlights on the ground

– Russian forces on Wednesday stepped up their advance towards Lyssychansk, a strategic industrial city in eastern Ukraine. According to Sergei Gaïdaï, the governor of the Lugansk region, the Ukrainians still control the city but the deluge of Russian fire “destroyed everything”. On the spot, “it’s hell”.

– Russian authorities said two drones attacked and caused a fire on Wednesday at the Novochakhtinsky oil refinery, located in Russian territory, a few kilometers from the border with the Lugansk region. The fire did not cause any casualties and was extinguished at the end of the morning.

– Médecins sans frontières (MSF) on Wednesday denounced the “shocking level” of suffering that the indiscriminate violence of the war in Ukraine is causing to civilians, victims of “constant indiscriminate attacks”. This lack of respect for their protection “constitutes a serious violation of international humanitarian law”, she denounced.

What to remember from Wednesday

  • In kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for more arms deliveries.
  • In Berlin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for setting up “a Marshall plan” for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
  • The United States expressed its “confidence” in the continuation of the close diplomatic collaboration with the French president on the war in Ukraine despite the electoral setbacks of his camp.
  • Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has published an investigation carried out in Ukraine which, according to it, proves that the Ukrainian photo-reporter Maks Levin was “executed” with a soldier who accompanied him, after having been probably tortured by Russian soldiers in March .

5:45 am: Hello everyone, welcome to this live where we will follow the situation around the conflict in Ukraine, on the 120th day of the Russian invasion.