Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday he was planning to align with the West on the May 8 anniversary of the end of World War II, in a swipe at Moscow.
“It is on May 8 that most nations of the world remember the greatness of the victory over the Nazis,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter.
“Today, I submitted a bill to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine [the Ukrainian parliament] proposing that May 8 be the Day of Remembrance and Victory over Nazism in the Second World War of 1939-1945,” he added.
Russia, together with some former Soviet states, celebrates the end of World War II on May 9 — a day later than in other allied countries.
The agreement marking the capitulation of Nazi Germany was signed late at night on May 8, 1945, in Berlin. But, with the time difference, it was already a day later in Eastern Europe.
Until now, Ukraine has celebrated the victory against Nazism on May 9, like Russia.
But from now on, May 9 will instead become a “Day of Europe” in Ukraine, celebrating the anniversary of the Schuman declaration, the founding act of European Unity, to “strengthen the unity of the peoples of Europe,” Zelenskyy said in a decree released Monday.
Both moves symbolically bring Kyiv closer to the EU, and further away from Moscow, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago.
Ukraine, which was granted EU candidate status in record time last June, has been pushing its European partners to quickly integrate it into the bloc — a process that usually takes years — but Brussels has so far carefully avoided committing to a specific timeline.
Source : POLITICO