Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy submitted a request for Ukraine to join the European Union (EU) on Monday as the country continues to battle against a Russian invasion.
Zelenskyy spoke in a video address as Ukraine and Russia met for talks Monday, telling the world that his country’s “goal is to be together with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be on an equal footing,” according to The New York Times. The Ukrainian president signed an official request shortly afterwards.
“I’m sure it’s fair. I’m sure it’s possible,” Zelensky said in the video.
Ukraine’s president, submitting Ukraine’s request to join the EU. https://t.co/eNBOnAp4Lc
— Maria Konnikova (@mkonnikova) February 28, 2022
Russia is on day five of its invasion of Ukraine, though the process has been reportedly hampered by Ukrainians fighting back. The United Nations estimated on Monday that over 500,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine into neighboring countries as a result of the invasion, UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ Filippo Grandi tweeted.
Meanwhile, Russia has been hit by tough sanctions from the U.S. and European allies. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have been directly sanctioned by the U.S., U.K. and European Union.
The Treasury Department announced Monday a ban on Americans conducting business with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. (RELATED: US, Key Allies Commit To Removing ‘Selected Russian Banks’ From SWIFT)
As a result of the various sanctions, the Russian ruble fell to a record-low value Monday, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying that the country’s “economic reality has changed significantly,” the Wall Street Journal reported.