Formal request signed as peace talks with Russia is ongoing.
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday said he has signed an official request for his country to join the European Union. Zelenskyy posted photos of himself signing the application and his office said the paperwork was on its way to Brussels, where the 27-nation EU is headquartered.
The announcement came after the President urged the bloc to grant his country immediate membership under a special procedure, as Russia’s assault against the pro-Western country entered its fifth day. During his video address, he also urged Russian soldiers to lay down their weapons and leave as Ukrainian and Russian delegations held talks on Moscow’s invasion.
The first round of talks between Ukrainian officials aimed at ending the fighting concluded with no deal but an agreement to keep talking. The meeting came under the shadow of Putin’s nuclear threats and with Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine running into unexpectedly fierce resistance and Western sanctions beginning to wreak havoc on the economy at home.
A top adviser to Zelenskyy, Mykhailo Podolyak, said the talks, held near the Ukraine-Belarus border, were focused on a possible cease-fire and that a second round could take place “soon.”
A top Putin aide and head of the Russian delegation, Vladimir Medinsky, said that the discussions lasted nearly five hours and that the envoys “found certain points on which common positions could be foreseen.”
He said they agreed to continue the talks in the coming days. He claimed that more than 4,500 Russian soldiers had already lost their lives during the Kremlin’s assault. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy announced that he decided to release prisoners with real military experience from custody to make amends. He also seeks to boost troop numbers by inviting Ukrainian men to join resistance forces.