Zelenskyy urges for "just and lasting peace" as World leaders gather in Switzerland without China, Russia

To put pressure on Russia to end its war with Ukraine, World leaders have gathered in Switzerland to attend Ukraine's peace summit on Saturday. However, Russia and China abstained from the summit, reported The Kyiv Independent.


ANI | Updated: 15-06-2024 17:26 IST | Created: 15-06-2024 17:26 IST
Zelenskyy urges for "just and lasting peace" as World leaders gather in Switzerland without China, Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Switzerland for Ukraine Peace Summit (Photo credits: X/@ZelenskyyUa). Image Credit: ANI
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To put pressure on Russia to end its war with Ukraine, World leaders have gathered in Switzerland to attend Ukraine's peace summit on Saturday. However, Russia and China abstained from the summit, reported The Kyiv Independent. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is hoping that the leaders gathered at the summit will try to pave the way for a future peace process that includes Russia".

"There are two days of active work ahead with countries from all corners of the world, with different peoples" who are united by the goal of bringing "a just and lasting peace for Ukraine closer," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on June 14 as he arrived in Switzerland. The peace summit began on June 15 and will conclude on June 16, bringing together representatives from 92 countries and organisations, less than the 107 countries and international organisations that, according to Kyiv, have confirmed their attendance as of early June.

Despite being invited, China skipped the summit after Russia was frozen out of proceedings on the grounds it had dismissed Ukraine's summit as "futile" and expressed no interest in attending, Al Jazeera reported. With China's absence, Western countries' hope of isolating Russia has faded, while recent military reverses on the battlefield have put Ukrainian forces on the back foot.

Hopefully, according to Ukraine, the Peace Summit will address several key issues, including energy security, the exchange of captives, the return of deported children, and global food security, among other topics, reported The Kyiv Independent. Zelenskyy added that the summit will enable the global majority to take concrete steps in areas that are important to everyone in the world, including, nuclear and food security, the return of prisoners of war and all deported persons, including deported Ukrainian children.

Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris and the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan are among those expected to join Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the summit. India, Turkey and Hungary, which maintained friendly relations with Russia, are also expected to join the summit, Al Jazeera reported.

Notably, Saudi Arabia is also one of the countries present at the summit, despite its earlier announcement in June that the country is not planning to attend the summit. The Ukrainian President made a previously unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia on June 12.

Meanwhile, Brazil, the Holy See, the United Nations, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate are attending the summit not as full participants but as observers. According to the reports, US President Joe Biden will not attend the summit, which eventually prompted Zelenksyy to say that his absence would "only be met by an applause by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, a personal, standing applause by Putin."

"I believe that the peace summit needs President Biden, and other leaders need President Biden because they will look at the US's reaction," Zelensky said. However, Biden is unable to attend the summit because it clashes with a campaign fundraiser, Kyiv Independent reported.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the event an important step towards progress. "Many questions of peace and security will be discussed, but not the very biggest. That was always the plan," he said, while speaking to Welt TV before travelling to Switzerland.

"This is a small plant that needs to be watered, but of course also with the perspective that more can then come out of it." Earlier on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia will only put an end to its war in Ukraine if Kyiv surrenders the entire territory of four regions claimed by Moscow and abandons its bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), CNN reported.

Ukraine, however, has rejected Putin's demand and termed it a "complete sham" and "offensive to common sense." Putin's speech, which came on the eve of the Swiss peace conference, mentioned Russia's conditions for a "final end" to the war in more granular detail than at any previous time since the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv started in February 2022.

The Russian president further called the conference "another ploy to divert everyone's attention." In addition to Ukrainian soldiers withdrawing from four regions, Putin said that Kyiv must demilitarise and that Western nations must lift their sanctions on Russia.

Putin's demand indicates Russia's failure to achieve its original war aims, when Moscow believed it could capture Kyiv in days and the rest of Ukraine in weeks, CNN reported. However, Russia, nearly 28 months later, occupied around a fifth of Ukrainian territory, including the Crimean peninsula it annexed 10 years back. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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