Facing setbacks in war against Russia, Zelensky calls EU accession talks a 'victory'

Sushim Mukul
Sushim MukulDec 15, 2023 | 14:38

Facing setbacks in war against Russia, Zelensky calls EU accession talks a 'victory'

The report of negotiations opening came when Zelenskyy is headed to Washington. Photo: AFP/dailyO/X of Volodymyr Zelenskyy

The Russia-Ukraine war, which has persisted for 660 days, appears to be at a standstill. The unspoken yet growing apprehension among observers signals an emerging discourse about Kyiv's potential endgame, risking dire consequences in the ongoing war.

In the midst of this delicate scenario, characterised by complex military dynamics and both domestic and international political challenges, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky labelled the initiation of European Union (EU) inclusion talks as “a victory for Ukraine.”


The report to kickstart the negotiations of Ukraine's inclusion to the 27-member-body also saw Zelensky hailing it as "A victory for all of Europe."

The stalemate

  • The Biden administration's proposed $61 billion arms and critical assistance package is encountering obstruction from House Republicans, as reported by Al Jazeera. This opposition from the American side appears to imperil Ukraine's fate against potential Russian attacks.

  • Adding to the complexity, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, purportedly aligned with Vladimir Putin, has expressed reservations and utilised his veto power within the European Union. Orban's recent blockage of $54 billion aimed at supporting Ukraine, on Thursday, December 15, represents another setback in this ongoing situation.

  • Over the past several months, barely 1200 square km of territory has changed hands between the conflicting parties. Additionally, Ukrainian cities in the east are consistently experiencing strikes from Russian forces, leading to a waning initial enthusiasm within Ukraine.

  • Putin's assessment regarding the erosion of Western political will and resources seems to be accurate, amplifying the challenges faced in the region.


Zelensky's optimism

  • EU's reopening of talks to include Ukraine and Moldova as members invoked some optimism in Zelensky.
  • European Council President Charles Michel, on Thursday, announced agreement on membership talks and called it “a clear signal of hope for their people and our continent”.
  • Despite this positive development, financial aid crucial for Ukraine's defence against Russia's invasion remains pending, subject to Orban's opposition.
  • Despite the challenges posed by Orban, the EU managed to reach a historic decision.
  • This symbolic victory, however, comes at a critical time, when some swift and substantial action is needed in Ukraine's favour.

As the stalemate in the Russia-Ukraine war persists, the hodgepodge of domestic and international hurdles poses a severe threat to Ukraine's fate in the war.

Last updated: December 15, 2023 | 14:38
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