Ukraine seeks paths to peace in Switzerland – DW – 06/15/2024

Ukraine seeks paths to peace in Switzerland – DW – 06/15/2024
Ukraine seeks paths to peace in Switzerland – DW – 06/15/2024

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed on Saturday (06/15/2024) in Switzerland his hope of achieving peace at a summit that seeks ways to end the conflict with Russia, which did not participate in the meeting. The two-day meeting is held at the luxurious Bürgenstock hotel complex and is attended by more than 50 heads of state and government. But Moscow’s absence has lowered expectations of laying the groundwork for a future peace agreement. “I believe that we will witness history being made here at the summit. May a just peace be established as soon as possible,” Zelensky declared at the beginning of the meeting.

“Everything that is agreed upon at the summit will be part of the peace process,” he added. “We managed to return to the world the idea that joint efforts can stop war and establish a just peace,” he continued. The meeting seeks to pave the way towards a roadmap for peace that, later, also includes Russia. But Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday demanded Ukraine’s withdrawal from the disputed territories before any negotiations. Zelensky rejected Putin’s “ultimatum.” NATO and the United States also repudiated, as a demand for surrender, Moscow’s conditions to end the war, which began with the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

It is necessary to “talk to the enemy”

“Today Russia has refused to listen to our collective call for peace on the basis of international law and the Charter of the United Nations,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, after reproaching Moscow for its attitude, which consisted of maintaining Ukraine’s aggression. . “It is true that peace cannot be achieved without involving Russia, but let us not forget that Russia continues to launch its brutal war,” said the head of the German Government, who considered the peace summit organized at the initiative of Ukraine as an “important” event. “. “Achieving peace requires great efforts,” warned the German chancellor.

Slovenian President Natasa Pirc Musar stated before the talks that it is necessary to “talk to the enemy.” “We cannot negotiate peace between like-minded countries,” she said. In total, the organizers have 92 national delegations. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declined to attend and his ambassador in Bern participated in his place. Other allies of Russia in the BRICS group such as South Africa and India sent second-rate positions. China refused to participate. And Colombia, which was scheduled to attend, canceled its trip at the last minute.

The Ukrainian leader stated this Saturday that he would present peace proposals to Russia once agreed upon by the international community. “When the action plan is on the table, accepted by all and transparent to the people, then we will communicate it to the representatives of Russia, so that we can truly end the war,” he declared. US President Joe Biden also sent his Vice President Kamala Harris, who previously announced more than $1.5 billion in aid to Ukraine, primarily for its energy sector and humanitarian assistance.

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