EPG Meeting in Moldova: What is the European Political Community and who is missing

EPG Meeting in Moldova: What is the European Political Community and who is missing

47 out of 50 European states met on the edge of the EU in Moldova – it should be a clear signal against Russia’s war against Ukraine. The location of the summit of the European Political Community was not chosen at random.

A general assembly of all European states is rare, but it does take place every now and then. Currently at Mimi Castle in Bulboaca, 45 minutes drive from Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. The stately residence is on the edge of the EU, the Ukrainian Odessa on the Black Sea is only 170 kilometers to the south-east. The location for the meeting of the “European Political Community” (EPG) was of course not chosen at random. Moldova, or Moldova, is in many ways a borderline place to which representatives of all Europeans have now traveled.

These three states are missing in Moldova

Whereby – all representatives are not correct, the three states are missing: Vatican State, Belarus and Russia. The last two countries are an occasion for the meeting in Moldova. Because this is intended to strengthen the back of the former Soviet republic and give a sign of unity towards the Kremlin. With its size and population (2.6 million), the state roughly corresponds to the German state of Brandenburg. Like other states that were formerly part of the Soviet Union, Moldova is also struggling with breakaway parts of the country that are oriented towards Moscow.

In the case of Moldova, it is Transnistria, a narrow strip of land on the border with Ukraine that proclaimed itself a republic in 1990 – after a brief civil war. Around 1,500 Russian soldiers have been stationed in the area controlled by pro-Russian separatists for 31 years. Most of the approximately 400,000 people there speak Russian, and Moscow supports the region economically.

Russia’s secret service controls the opposition

According to media research, Russia is trying to massively influence politics and mood in Moldova. The reason for this is the pro-Western course that the small and poor republic has taken in recent years. According to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” and the two public broadcasters WDR and NDR, the presidential administration in the Kremlin is said to have outlined two years ago how Russia could prevent Moldova’s westward orientation and how pro-Russian influence could be expanded. Among other things, the Russian secret service FSB is said to control the Moldovan opposition party Sor.

On the fringes of the EU, the culture war between West and East is taking place, so to speak, in which the West has the upper hand, at least at the official level. As a symbol of this, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj was the first guest to arrive at Mimi Castle. The EPG goes back to French President Emmanuel Macron, who in May 2022 spoke of a “new space for political cooperation, security and cooperation” in Europe. It is also intended to act as a hinge forum for (not yet) EU states and no longer states (Great Britain). The next EPG Summit will be held in Spain and in the UK in 2024.

Russia warns of ‘violent cleansing of Transnistria’

Russia is not very enthusiastic about the EPG summit meeting in the ex-Soviet republic. “Ukraine has become a bridgehead in the war against Russia,” Russia’s intelligence chief Alexander Bortnikov told the state news agency TASS. And: “The West is actively pushing Moldova to take part in the Ukrainian conflict” and goading the government in Chisinau into a “violent cleansing of Transnistria”. No fewer observers fear that Moscow could use unrest in the region as an excuse to escalate the situation.

Volodymyr Zelenskyj also sees this danger and therefore calls for a rapid eastward expansion of NATO and the EU. “We need peace. That’s why every European country that borders Russia and doesn’t want Russia to tear it apart should be a full member of the EU and NATO,” he said at the meeting. The only alternatives are open war or a cruel Russian occupation.

Sources: DPA, AFP, ,

Source: Stern

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