On Thursday (June 1), the second European Political Community summit kicked off in Moldova, which borders Ukraine where a war is raging. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky joined 47 leaders from the 27-nation bloc and said that Kyiv hoped to get a “clear” decision on its NATO future at the military alliance’s leaders meet in Vilnius in July.

The Ukrainian president said that he hoped to get a “clear” decision on the war-torn country’s attempt to join the military alliance at the next meeting in Lithuania, speaking at the summit of European leaders in Moldova.

Zelensky said: “This year is for decisions. In summer in Vilnius at the NATO summit, Ukraine needs a clear invitation and security guarantees on the way to NATO membership.” He added: “In (autumn), we need a clear, positive decision on our EU accession.”

The Ukrainian president also talked about Kyiv’s readiness for the Peace Summit to “guide the world to jointly implement” his 10-point peace plan, which includes the full withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

Why Moldova as the summit venue? The summit brought together over 40 leaders from the EU’s 27 nations at Mimi Castle in southern Moldovan wine country, which is close to Ukraine and the Transdniestria region of Moldova that is backed by Russia.

The summit in Moldova is seen as a symbolic sign of support for Kyiv and Chisinau.

The summit also happened with NATO Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) surveillance planes flying over the former Soviet republic of 2.5 million people. Moldova, whose President Maia Sandu is a pro-Western leader who wants EU membership, closed its airspace except for official delegation planes.

Moldova has seen missile debris several times, since the start of the Russian invasion. “The presence of these leaders in our country is a clear message that Moldova is not alone and neither is our neighbour Ukraine, which for a year and three months has been resisting the barbaric invasion of Russia,” said the Moldovan president.

The EU leaders are also expected to discuss issues like ethnic tensions in Kosovo and peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

France and Germany are also expected to host a round table with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to try to make a peace deal between the two countries, during the summit in Moldova.

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