Summit of the European Political Community in Moldova

  • On 1 June, Moldova hosted the Summit of the European Political Community.  The European Policy Centre reports that although the EPC was designed to restore and promote peace in Europe as a continent-wide response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the initiative is still struggling to define its agenda and structure (European Policy Center, Politico). 
Summit of the European Political Community in Moldova
  • In Moldova, Zelenskyy called for NATO support for Ukraine, and French President Emmanuel Macron gave a speech in support of “tangible and credible” security guarantees for Ukraine (Politico and AP). 
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for support for Ukraine after the war ends, saying “we have always said that there must also be guarantees for a peace order after the war.”  This marked a more cautious approach from Germany (Politico).
  • Politico reports that the question of EU membership for Ukraine and Moldova was divisive, signaling that membership will not come quickly for either country (Politico). 
Summit of the European Political Community in Moldova
Summit of the European Political Community in Moldova
Summit of the European Political Community in Moldova

NATO Vilnius Summit

  • Zelenskyy continues to push for Ukraine’s membership in NATO ahead of NATO’s summit in Vilnius this summer.  He said, “We understand that we will not be in NATO or any powerful security alliance during this war.  But tell me, how many [Ukrainian] lives is one sentence at the Vilnius summit worth?”  Ukraine wants a promise that Ukraine will eventually join NATO (Politico and Euractiv).
  • Zelensky asked for security guarantees before heading to the EPC meeting in Chisinau, saying that “Ukraine is ready to be in NATO; we are ready for when NATO is ready (…) and we need all the unity through the alliance and we are working on it.” (Euractiv
  • Macron called for a full roadmap for Ukraine’s NATO membership.  British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that Ukraine’s rightful place is in NATO, but did not express support for the French accession plan (Politico and Euractiv). 
  • Eastern and Central European NATO members have called on Ukraine’s NATO membership as a security guarantee for Europe. Estonia’s Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said, “NATO membership and NATO is the only clear and common security guarantee for Ukraine, but also for our region, as well.” (Euractiv). 

Comments from Belarus, Brazil

  • Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko said that “the only mistake” by Russia and Belarus was that they “didn’t resolve this issue in 2014-2015, when Ukraine had no army and wasn’t prepared.”  His comments were made to the heads of security agencies of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and, according to Politico, the comments “indicate that Lukashenko has fully embraced his transformation into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet.” (Politico)
  • The EU has condemned Belarusian plans to host Russian nukes after an agreement between Minsk and Moscow (EU Observer).
  • The top foreign policy adviser to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said that Western allies risk escalating the war by providing support to Ukraine.  Lula has condemned the war but has not provided support to Ukraine or sanctioned Moscow (Politico). 
Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko

An Appeal by Ukraine to the EU on Grain

  • Ukraine asked the EU not to extend temporary import curbs on Ukraine’s grain and oilseeds that will soon expire.  These import curbs were ratified in late April, the response to a push led by Poland to clear a supply glut caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  This issue has been divisive in Europe, as Germany has accused eastern states of threatening to “break Ukraine’s neck” with import bans.  Instead, they propose transporting Ukrainian exports to countries in the Global South (Politico and Brussels Times). 
Black Sea Grain Initiative 2023

Pro-Ukrainian Russian Soldiers in Russia

  • For the second time in two weeks, two pro-Ukraine paramilitary groups, the Russian Volunteer Corps and the Legion of Free Russia, claimed that they made an incursion into Russian territory.  Russia claims that Kyiv is behind the attacks, while Ukrainian authorities deny responsibility (Politico and Euractiv).

Clashes Near Bakhmut

  • Clashes around Bakhmut have continued with Moscow suffering serious losses, according to Kyiv’s armed forces. The head of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group said that 99% of Wagner’s fighters had left Bakhmut after the months-long assault (Reuters).
  • Russian forces declared victory in Bakhmut last month, but Ukraine has kept pressure on Russia in the city (AP).
Bakhmut, UKRAINE – 19 JAN 2023 The writing ‘Bakhmut is Ukraine’ on a wall damaged by Russian shelling building at Bakhmut during Russian invasion of Ukraine

Raids in Kyiv

  • Russian attacks have escalated in Kyiv to near-nightly raids, exhausting residents (AP).
  • A pre-dawn missile attack in Kyiv killed three people, including a nine-year-old and her mother, and damaged apartments, schools, and children’s hospitals.  It “was the highest toll from a single attack on Kyiv over the last month.” (AP)

Drone strikes hit both Moscow and Kyiv on May 30 (Euractiv).

Sophie Adams-Smith

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