Around 75,000 people gathered in Moldova’s capital to support their country joining the European Union, as it has become the center of a battle between Moscow and the West.

Tens of thousands of Moldovans gathered on Sunday at a demonstration in the country’s capital Chisinau to show their support for their country to join the European Union.

The rally opened with the Moldovan anthem and the anthem of the European Union, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, after which participants chanted “Europe” and “Europe Moldova”.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu spoke at the event, which attracted around 75,000 protesters, and was joined by European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

“In the European Parliament, we recognize the great efforts your country has made to implement the European Commission’s nine steps for reform and to adapt to the EU acquis,” Metsola said while addressing the audience.

“Moldova is already ready for deeper integration into the EU’s internal market.”

Moldova received the status of an EU candidate country together with Ukraine in June last year, which Sandu then described as “the light at the end of the tunnel”.

Between Ukraine and Romania, Moldova has often been at the center of a struggle between Moscow and the West.

In February, Sandu accused Russia of trying to seize power in his small country. It already has a breakaway region, Transnistria, where Russia has stationed a small number of troops.

Ahead of the rally, the government ran information campaigns inviting people to participate and put in more public transport on Sunday to make it easier for them to join the rally.

In recent years, Moldova has seen widespread disillusionment with post-Soviet politics and an exodus of thousands of Moldovans to live and work abroad.

Watch Euronews’ report in the video player above to learn more.