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Zelensky meets European leaders in Moldova, discusses EU, NATO integration process and further military support

by Martin Fornusek June 1, 2023 5:24 PM 4 min read
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky meets President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen during the 2d European Political Community Summit on May 1 (Source: President of Ukraine / official website)
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has travelled to Moldova for a meeting with European leaders as part of the 2nd European Political Community Summit, held on June 1.

Zelensky listed military support, security guarantees, Ukraine's peace formula, and NATO and EU membership as important points on the agenda of the ongoing bilateral talks.

Zelensky met Moldova’s President Maia Sandu, discussing the shared interests of both countries, namely European aspirations and withstanding Russia's aggression. It is Zelensky's first visit to Ukraine's southwestern neighbor since the outset of the full-scale invasion.

Zelensky arrives in Moldova for European Political Community summit
President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Moldova on June 1 to participate in a summit of the European Political Community, bringing together 50 European leaders.

"I think security guarantees are important not only for Ukraine. They are also important for Moldova because Russia is carrying out aggression in Ukraine and there is a potential threat of aggression in other parts of Europe," Zelensky said.

The two heads of state also talked about priority infrastructure projects that are to be implemented in the near future.

Zelensky met President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, publishing a joint statement on the occasion of International Children’s Day, which falls on June 1.

The statement condemned the illegal deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children by Russia, pledging to facilitate their safe return.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, over 19,000 children have been abducted by Russia, according to a Ukrainian national database, while thousands remain not accounted for. Ukraine has so far managed to return 371 Ukrainian children illegally deported by Russia, and the process is ongoing.

The two leaders presented a distance learning program for Ukraine’s medical staff, which should make Ukraine's healthcare system better equipped to provide appropriate physical and mental healthcare for the children affected by the war.

The statement welcomed the creation of the EU Project Office in Ukraine under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, tasked with formulating a strategy for reforming the childcare system.

According to the statement, about 1.3 million Ukrainian children now live in the EU.

Host nations provide them with access to healthcare, education, and other social systems under the EU's Temporary Protection Directive.

Zelensky and von der Leyen also discussed Ukraine’s peace formula, security guarantees for Ukraine before full NATO membership and Ukraine’s EU accession process.

According to Ukraine’s head of state, the country is close to fulfilling the European Commission’s recommendations for the start of the accession negotiations.

Kyiv is now waiting for an assessment of progress to be presented in June.

Zelensky also met Edi Rama, the prime minister of Albania, and Dimitar Kovachevski, the prime minister of North Macedonia.

President Zelensky thanked the two NATO members for supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russian aggression and in its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

He also thanked the Prime Minister of North Macedonia for joining his country in the Core Group for the establishment of a special tribunal on the crime of aggression against our country, expressing hope that Albania will join as well.

The European Political Community is a platform for political coordination among European countries, created in 2022 following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The platform aims to foster political dialogue and cooperation to solve issues of common interest as well as to strengthen Europe's security and stability.

Moldova is hosting the second summit of the European Political Community at Mimi Castle in Bulboaca. The group met for the first time in October 2022 in Prague.

Zelensky proposes to hold peace formula summit in July
President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed to hold the Summit of the Peace Formula in July, a “symbolic” time when Ukraine will mark 500 days of defending against Russia’s full-scale invasion.
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