Giorgia Meloni in Chisinau. The Italian Prime Minister reached the Moldovan capital on Thursday morning to attend the European Political Community summit alongside other European leaders and, notably, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – a “more than symbolic” presence, as she remarked, in a country “threatened” by Russia and that would have “already been involved in a sort of domino effect if the Ukrainians had not defended themselves.”
“True openness” towards Eastern nations is the bottom line of PM Meloni’s message, as expressed in her speech and in a brief exchange with reporters earlier. The subjects are Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, and Balkan nations – namely all the countries “which are European, and yet want to be so in all respects.”
- She stressed that Italy supports these challenges, emphasising that the process should not be considered a challenging accession to the EU but rather their “reunification into the European family.”
- Citing the late Pope John Paul II, Ms Meloni said, “Europe must breathe with two lungs, one Western and one Eastern.”
Focus on security… The PM’s push also extends to the ongoing discussion on NATO’s borders, which, as she recalled, will be addressed at the forthcoming NATO Summit in Vilnius in July. On this front, too, Rome “is among the supporters of the open-door policy.” Words in tune with President Zelensky’s, who called for “all countries bordering Russia to join the Atlantic Alliance.”
- The push for extending the EU’s family of nations comes amid sky-high tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, partly fuelled by Russia itself, which deteriorated the region’s security and resulted in over 30 NATO peacekeepers getting injured.
… and the bigger picture. The war in Ukraine has accelerated both paths – the EU’s and NATO’s. And the crises of this time, “from the pandemic to the migratory one [are] an opportunity to show that Europe is not a club, that it is not just made up of rules and interests, but that it is a civilisation founded on the values of freedom and equality” – which Ukraine is now defending, she concluded, reiterating Italy’s steadfast support.
- “Celebrating this event here [in Chisinau] means that we believe we have to strengthen our relations with all European countries. And do it here because of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which mines the value of freedom. And we will defend it, and we will do that all together.”