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Russia says Europe is "manipulating" Ukraine with "alluring" prospect of EU membership

How Russia is weathering international sanctions
How Russia is weathering international sanctions 04:25

Moscow — Russia's foreign ministry on Friday accused Brussels of "manipulating" Ukraine after the EU Commission recommended the pro-Western country be granted candidate status for joining the 27-nation bloc.

"We see how for many years the Western community has been manipulating the idea of some kind of involvement of Ukraine in their integration structures," ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Ukraine, however, is getting "worse and worse," she added.

Ukraine war - von der Leyen in Ukraine
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks at a joint press conference with Volodymyr Selenskyy, President of Ukraine, during her visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, April 8, 2022. Michael Fischer/dpa/Getty

Zakharova said that Ukraine "is not getting a bright future, for some reason, despite the promises becoming more and more sweet and alluring."

The European Commission on Friday recommended that Ukraine, where Russia is conducting a military operation, and neighboring Moldova each be named a "candidate" for joining the EU.

U.S. sending additional $1 billion in weapons and aid to Ukraine 06:23

Formal "candidate" status for Ukraine could open up a years-long path towards joining the bloc, with the decision likely to be formalized at an EU leaders' summit in Brussels on June 23-24.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed the move, saying that he was "grateful" to EU chief Ursula von der Leyen and "each EC member for a historic decision."

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