Eastern Europe Geopolitical Watch – From June 19 to July 1, 2022

The Eastern Europe Geopolitical Watch team: Olga Cherkhurska, Victor Martin, Alicia Tintelin, supervised by Clelia Frouté.

06/27/2022: Moldovan President travels to Kiev for talks with her Ukrainian counterpart. -Victor Martin-

On June 27, Maia Sandu travelled to Ukraine to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, five days after the two countries were granted candidate status for European Union membership. The Moldovan president reiterated her country’s support for Ukraine against Russia, saying Moldova will continue to “support Ukrainian refugees hosted in Moldova”. The two countries also announced that they would work together in several areas, including “economic and energy, as well as on the path to membership in the European Union”.

During the joint press conference of the two heads of state, Volodymyr Zelensky also addressed the necessary work of stabilisation of the region. The Ukrainian president spoke in particular about Transnistria, a Moldovan secessionist region at the heart of concerns because it is home to 1,500 Russian soldiers and large stocks of ammunition. The Ukrainian president said that an attack by Transnistria on Ukrainian territory “would be a slap in the face to which Ukraine would respond with a blow”. The authorities of the Moldovan secessionist region clearly expressed their desire to calm tensions and recalled their adherence “to the principle of peaceful coexistence”. However, the Transnistrian leaders condemned Moldova for militarising itself, which would not contribute to ensuring “peace and stability on the banks of the Dniester”.

06/28/2022: The emergency meeting of the UN Security Council requested by Ukraine was held on June 28. -Olga Chekhurska-

On June 28 Ukraine called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after the Russian attack on the shopping center in the city of Kremenchuk.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by videoconference to the UN Security Council. First, he said that as long as Russia commits “terrorist attacks” such as the bombing of Ukrainian cities, it should be expunged as a permanent member of the Security Council. Then the Ukrainian president suggested to the UN to create an international tribunal to investigate the crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine.

It is imperative to create an international tribunal to investigate the Russian Federation’s actions on Ukrainian soil” said Volodymyr Zelensky before asking the Council members to commemorate the tens of thousands of Ukrainians killed with a minute of silence.

The representative of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Polyanskiy, clarified that the Russian strike carried out in Kremenchuk targeted a foreign weapons warehouse. According to the Russian representative, these weapons were recently sent to Ukraine and were intended to hit the Donbass. He also accused Ukraine of “using the population as a human shield”.

According to China, “the international community should create an appropriate environment for peace talks between the warring parties“.

At the end of the meeting, the six countries of the UN Security Council and Ukraine issued a joint statement. They strongly condemned the Russian attacks against Ukrainian cities, which intensified between June 25 and 27.

06/29/2022: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at the NATO summit in Madrid. – Alicia Tintelin –

On June 29, a NATO summit was held in Madrid to address the issue of Ukraine through the challenges of expanding the Alliance’s forces on the eastern flank and increasing its military strength.

On this occasion, Volodymyr Zelensky spoke twice in videoconference in order to ask NATO countries for the necessary support to face the Russian forces. In particular, the Ukrainian President noted the need to receive modern artillery and new financial support, revealing that Kiev would need “about $5 billion a month” to ensure its defence. If NATO countries have already given several billion dollars in aid, the establishment of “a comprehensive assistance programme to help Ukraine enforce its right to self-defence” will be concluded at the summit, as promised the day before by the Secretary General of the Organization, Jens Stoltenberg.

NATO, through this summit, aims to revise its strategy, which has been in place since 2010 and whose main challenge will be to “clearly state that Russia represents a direct threat to our security”, says Jens Stoltenberg. In this regard, Kiev welcomed NATO’s “lucid position” on the issue of Russia.

The leaders of the Alliance have committed themselves to a joint statement that they want to “further strengthen their political and practical support” for Ukraine, which will be able to count on NATO’s support “for as long as it takes”, says Jens Stoltenberg.

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