MOLDOVA: President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged European leaders to make a clear choice regarding Ukraine’s admission to NATO and reaffirmed the need for Western fighter jets to defend Ukrainian skies following another tragic attack on Kyiv.
The summit of the EU’s 27 members and 20 other European nations was held at a castle in the heart of Moldova’s wine region, close to the Transdniestria area of Moldova, which Russia has supported.
Leaders used the occasion as a symbolic show of support for Ukraine and Moldova, addressing other topics such as ethnic tensions in Kosovo and attempts to achieve peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The conference was held in Moldova, an ex-Soviet country seeking EU membership while apprehensive of Russia. It was monitored by NATO surveillance planes, and only authorised delegation aircraft were allowed to fly in and out. Decisions are needed for this year, with a clear invitation from Ukraine and security assurances at the NATO summit in Vilnius.
President Maia Sandu of Moldova attended the meeting to push for talks to hasten Moldova’s EU admission. Zelenskiy stated that the alliance is united, and Ukraine is attempting to host a meeting to discuss the terms of resolving the conflict but has not yet established a date.
The NATO Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) monitored the sky over Moldova, where missile fragments from the conflict in Ukraine have been found. The summit will focus on Ukraine, where Kyiv has promised a counteroffensive using Western weapons to drive out Russian occupiers.
The presence of leaders in Moldova and Ukraine shows that both nations are not alone in resisting Russia’s invasion. The EU plans to use the summit to address tensions in northern Kosovo, which have erupted in violence and prompted NATO to send 700 peacekeepers.
The summit was expected to discuss energy, cybersecurity, migration, and other conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Moldova, like Ukraine, submitted an application for membership in the EU last year. Chisinau intended to use the summit to highlight economic and rule-of-law changes and persuade leaders to begin accession discussions.
Moldova has taken in more Ukrainian refugees per person than any other nation due to the conflict. Russia is attempting to destabilise Transdniestria by exerting influence on the separatist movement in primarily Russian-speaking Transdniestria.