Europe meets in Moldova to send a message of unity to Putin

While working to resolve the continent’s crises, Europe will send a message of unity to Vladimir Putin on Thursday. About fifty European leaders are meeting for this in Moldova, a small country neighboring Ukraine which also lives in fear of Russia.

Heads of state and government from 47 countries were invited from 7:30 a.m. to Mimi Castle, a winery in the village of Bulboaca, 35 km from the capital Chisinau. The presence of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at this second meeting of the European Political Community (EPC) has not been announced. But he could be there after having crisscrossed the planet in recent weeks. On the other hand, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, re-elected on Sunday, will be absent.

A family photo facing the isolation of the Kremlin

As during its first edition in Prague in October, the CPE will give rise to a “family photo”. Taken in this village near Transdniestria, a pro-Russian separatist region of 300,000 inhabitants in the east of the country, it will underline Putin’s isolation. A much larger gathering than the European Union (20 invited countries in addition to the 27 members of the bloc), this informal body, imagined by Emmanuel Macron, brings together countries with very different profiles and backgrounds: Armenia, Georgia, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland , Turkey, United Kingdom, Serbia, Azerbaijan…

For Moldova, this will above all be an opportunity to reiterate its impatience to join the EU. The question of accession also arises for Ukraine. It obtained the status of official candidate at the same time as Moldova, in June 2022. But the road is still long. Emmanuel Macron, however, called on the EU to rethink its governance and to “invent several formats” to meet these aspirations.

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Leaders are also expected to discuss Ukraine’s security on Thursday as the heads of diplomacy from NATO countries are gathered in Oslo to respond to Kiev’s request to join the Atlantic Alliance.

The CPE will finally be the occasion for some bilateral discussions or in restricted formats between leaders. It could thus help to lower tensions in northern Kosovo, where violence broke out last weekend between police and Serb demonstrators. In addition, the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders, in full negotiation to end their conflict, must also meet under the aegis of Emmanuel Macron, Olaf Scholz and the President of the European Council Charles Michel.

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