EU Agrees ‘In Principle’ On Starting Accession Talks for Ukraine, Moldova

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. Yves Herman, Reuters
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. Yves Herman, Reuters
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EU Agrees ‘In Principle’ On Starting Accession Talks for Ukraine, Moldova

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. Yves Herman, Reuters
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium May 5, 2021. Yves Herman, Reuters

Ambassadors from the EU's 27 member states on Friday “agreed in principle” on beginning accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova on June 25, the Belgian presidency of the EU's Council said.
“Ambassadors agreed in principle on the negotiating frameworks for the accession negotiations of Ukraine and Moldova. The Belgian presidency will call the first intergovernmental conferences on 25 June,” it said.
The presidency added that EU ministers are due to formally approve the decision during a meeting on June 21. In the Netherlands, parliament must also give its consent.
Ukraine and fellow neighbor Moldova applied to join the EU shortly after Russia launched its all-out invasion in February 2022.
In a historic step, EU leaders agreed in mid-December to open accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova.
But Hungary continues to veto the start of negotiations concerning Ukraine's accession to the EU, arguing that Kiev has not yet met the conditions required for the launch of such talks.
On June 7, the Commission said that both countries met all the criteria for accession negotiations formally to begin.
The Commission had previously called on Kyiv to take action to combat corruption and the influence of oligarchs.
Also, UNHCR called for the promotion of the rights of ethnic minorities, a demand Budapest insisted on due to the presence of a Hungarian community in Ukraine.
Starting the negotiations would put Ukraine at the start of what is likely to be a years-long process before it can finally become a member.
Ukraine, with a population of more than 40 million people, is an agricultural powerhouse. Its accession to the EU will face many obstacles.



Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
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Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Bangladesh extended a curfew on Sunday to control violent student-led protests that have killed at least 114 people, as authorities braced for a Supreme Court hearing later in the day on government job quotas that sparked the anger.
Soldiers have been on patrol on the streets of capital Dhaka, the center of the demonstrations that spiraled into clashes between protesters and security forces, Reuters said.
Internet and text message services in Bangladesh have been suspended since Thursday, cutting the nation off as police cracked down on protesters who defied a ban on public gatherings.
A curfew ordered late on Friday has been extended to 3 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Sunday, until after the Supreme Court hearing, and will continue for an "uncertain time" following a two-hour break for people to gather supplies, local media reported.
Universities and colleges have also been closed since Wednesday.
Nationwide unrest broke out following student anger against quotas for government jobs that included reserving 30% for the families of those who fought for independence from Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government had scrapped the quota system in 2018, but a court reinstated it last month.
The Supreme Court suspended the decision after a government appeal and will hear the case on Sunday after agreeing to bring forward a hearing scheduled for Aug. 7.
The demonstrations - the biggest since Hasina was re-elected for a fourth successive term this year - have also been fueled by high unemployment among young people, who make up nearly a fifth of the population.
The US State Department on Saturday raised its travel advisory for Bangladesh to level four, urging American citizens to not travel to the South Asian country.