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The European Commission has suggested initiating negotiations for Ukraine's membership.
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The European Commission has suggested initiating negotiations for Ukraine’s membership.

On Wednesday, the European Commission advised member states to begin negotiations with Ukraine for membership once the country resolves various reform matters.

Last year, the European Union gave Ukraine the status of a candidate, which occurred four months following Russia’s complete invasion of Ukraine.

During a meeting in mid-December, it is anticipated that EU leaders will make a decision on whether to approve the European Commission’s suggestion.

On Wednesday, EU foreign policy leader Josep Borrell declared that Ukraine is a member of our European community.

Borrell stated that the decision made today is a direct acknowledgement of Ukraine’s unwavering commitment to reform and their strong determination, despite the unfortunate circumstances. It also recognizes the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people.

The commission stated that the initiation of membership negotiations with Ukraine should wait until they have addressed various concerns, such as combatting corruption, enacting a lobbying law that meets EU expectations, and fortifying protections for national minorities.

The executive branch of the EU has suggested starting discussions for membership with Moldova, a neighboring country of Ukraine, and granting Georgia candidate status.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed his approval of a “powerful declaration” from G7 foreign ministers, reaffirming their steadfast backing of Ukraine despite ongoing global events.

Japan holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations, and G7 foreign ministers said in a joint statement Wednesday that their support for Ukraine in its battle against the Russian invasion “will never waver,” following meetings in Tokyo.

The status update on Ukraine’s candidacy for the European Union coincides with a report from Kyiv that a Russian missile hit a civilian ship flying a Liberian flag as it was entering the port of Odesa in the Black Sea. This resulted in one death and four injuries.

According to the Ukrainian military, one sailor from the Philippines tragically lost their life while another port worker was injured. Additionally, three crew members of the ship, all of whom were Filipino citizens, were also injured.

The level of military activity in the Black Sea has risen from both Russia and Ukraine following the failure of a U.N.-mediated agreement in July that was intended to guarantee the safe passage of civilian ships. This agreement was established to support Ukraine’s exportation of grain.

After the U.N. agreement ended, Moscow has cautioned that any vessel heading to Ukrainian ports may be considered as potential targets.

Despite Ukraine’s attempts to establish a humanitarian passage that avoids international waters, Russia has persisted in assaulting Ukrainian ports.

The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse provided some information for this story.