Direct Announcements: Ukraine withdraws from Siverodonetsk

debt…Mauricio Lima for The New York Times

KYIV, Ukraine – The EU summit kicked off in Brussels on Thursday evening, with an aide to Ukraine’s foreign minister tuning in on a laptop.

Minister Dimitro Gulepa, whose left leg was a tight red after being injured in a basketball game, was excited to see the Council of Europe, which had been trying unsuccessfully for years, deliver on his war-torn country: preferred status as a candidate. To join the constituency.

This is one of the best news for Ukraine, which is in its fourth month of war, as a successful counterattack has pushed Russian troops out of the capital. The council’s move is “the most important step in overcoming the last psychological barrier in relations between Ukraine and the European Union.” Guleba said.

However, he acknowledged that their country had a long way to go before joining the 27-member panel. The action of the Council of Europe, headed by its member states, is the first step in a one-year process and Ukraine must make progress in combating corruption and enforcing the rule of law.

“Of course, there will be talks and reforms here and in the EU,” he said. “I do not care. Until Ukraine decides to be Europe, I’m fine. History is made. ”

For decades, when Ukrainians fought for democracy in anti – government movements in 2004 and 2014, Brussels and other European capitals were still “enjoying the idea of ​​a buffer zone between Russia and the EU.” Guleba said.

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At the last stage, he said, European leaders were unofficially “blinking” at Ukrainian officials. “Friends, everything will be fine, it will take many years, but in the end you will be with us,” he said. “But they’re afraid to say it out loud.”

Mr. As Guleba spoke in the interview, air strike sirens sounded in Kiev. An aide ran into the office saying 10 Russian missiles were flying over Ukrainian airspace.

“I am not surprised that the Russians opened fire on anything in Kiev today,” he said. Guleba said the signs of the day would not be lost on the Kremlin.

The 41-year-old Mr. Guleba, an industrial diplomat, said he saw the EU as “the first attempt to build a liberal empire based on democratic principles,” according to President Vladimir V. Compares Russia’s occupation of former Soviet countries under Putin.

“I understand that people do not like the word empire, but this is how history is written,” he said. Guleba said. “You have to show that different things on the same level can be built on different policies: liberalism, democracy, respect for human rights, not on the basis of a policy that imposes one’s will on others.”

Mr. Guleba said he would like to thank other Western allies, especially the United States, for their military and political support. However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Washington’s war effort.

“We are still waiting for the moment to hear a clear message from Washington. For Washington, the goal of this war is to win Ukraine and restore international law,” he said. “Ukraine’s victory for Washington is a restoration of Ukraine’s regional integrity and sovereignty.”

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