1 of 3 | Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for "security guarantees" for his nation and Moldova Thursday at the second European Political Community Summit in Moldova. Photo by Peter Klaunzer/EPA-EFE
June 1 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for "security guarantees" for his nation and Moldova during the second European Political Community Summit in Moldova Thursday.
"As part of my participation in the European Political Community Summit, I met with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. We discussed specific ways to implement the Ukrainian Peace formula and consolidate global support for Ukraine's peace initiative," Zelensky tweeted Thursday.
"We also touched upon the topic of security guarantees that our country seeks to receive before becoming a full member of NATO," Zelensky continued.
"I think security guarantees are very important not only for Ukraine, for our neighbors, for Moldova because of Russia, their aggressions in Ukraine and potential aggression in other parts of Europe," Zelensky said.
French President Emmanuel Macron suggested a special security guarantee with Ukraine that would stop short of full NATO membership.
"We have to build something between the security provided to Israel and full-fledged membership," the French president said.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, however, told CNBC that he agrees with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's previous comments that "Ukraine's rightful place is in NATO."
"We want to make sure that we put in place security arrangements for Ukraine for the long term so that we send a very strong signal to Vladimir Putin that we're not going anywhere," he said.
Zelensky also called on European nations to "unconditionally lift export restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products."
The summit was held at the Mimi Castle Vinyard, which is 12 miles from Ukraine and only three miles away from Russian forces stationed in the predominantly Russian-speaking Moldovan region of Transnistria.
Russian military forces have been on the ground in Transnistria since the fall of the Soviet Union. Outgoing Moldovan President Maia Sandu has suggested Russia is trying to undermine the Moldovan government, even going so far as to suggest they may planning a coup.
Zelensky and von der Leyen on Thursday released a joint statement on the mass abduction of Ukrainian children for International Children's Day.
"First we vehemently condemn the illegal deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children, adding to the list of Russia's war crimes. We urgently call upon Russia to immediately stop these deportations, to put an end to the practice of so-called 'expedited adoptions' and return these children," Zelensky and von der Leyen said.
Zelensky and von der Leyen touted EU efforts to provide education to Ukrainian children living in the European Union.
"Approximately 1.3 million Ukrainian children currently reside in the EU. The Temporary Protection Directive has been instrumental in providing these displaced Ukrainian children with immediate access to healthcare, education, and work towards the mutual recognition of their learning outcomes," the leaders said.
"We are committed to offering specialized rehabilitation services to distressed children in both Ukraine and the European Union," they continued.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his nation was working to provide Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets.
"We are working with the Brits on the F-16 fighter jet coalition," Rutte said.