DIRECT. War in Ukraine: kyiv fears that "Russia steps up its attacks" before the EU decision on his candidacy

What there is to know

A “truly historic week” begins Monday, June 20. In a speech on Sunday evening, the Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, recalled the very high expectation that the European Union’s response to Ukraine’s candidate status arouses in the country. The latter is expected Thursday or Friday. “Since 1991, there have been few decisions as fateful for Ukraine as the one we await today”he added, “convinced that only a positive response is in the interest of all of Europe”. First essential step to hope to join the EU one day, this status makes it possible to officially open negotiations on membership. However, it is to be expected “for Russia to step up its attacks this week”warned the Head of State, before adding: “We are ready”. Follow our live.

Two NGOs call for the fight against food speculation. While the price of wheat has almost doubled since the beginning of the year, the NGOs Foodwatch and CCFD-Terre solidaire are calling for regulation of agricultural markets, with a view to combating speculation, which “aggravates soaring food prices”in a joint statement issued on Monday. “Agricultural and food markets are panicking for two reasonsthey explain, on the one hand, companies and traders fear a shortage of wheat, vegetable oils and phosphate fertilizers from the Black Sea region (…). On the other hand, financial bets on rising commodity prices aggravate soaring food prices”underline the two organizations.

The Ukrainian army claims to have repelled Russian attacks near Sievierodonetsk, in the east of the country. “Our units repelled the assault in the Tochkivka region”the Ukrainian military said on Facebook. “The enemy has retreated and is regrouping”. The local governor, Serguiï Gaïdaï, described as “lies” the idea that the Russians controlled the strategic locality of Severodonetsk. For its part, the Russian Ministry of Defense asserted that “the offensive against Sievierodonetsk proceeds successfully”.

NATO warns of a war that could last “years”. As Ukraine shows its determination to fight to the end, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Sunday that Western countries must be ready to offer long-term support to kyiv during a bitter war. The war could last “years”he warned in an interview published on Sunday by the German daily Picture. “We must not falter in supporting Ukraine, even though the costs are high, not only in terms of military support but also due to rising energy and food prices”said the head of NATO.

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