Peace summit for Ukraine begins in Switzerland without Moscow or Beijing — Novaya Gazeta Europe
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Peace summit for Ukraine begins in Switzerland without Moscow or Beijing

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Swiss Federal President Viola Amherd during the Summit on Peace in Ukraine, 15 June. Photo: EPA-EFE/MICHAEL BUHOLZER / POOL

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Swiss Federal President Viola Amherd during the Summit on Peace in Ukraine, 15 June. Photo: EPA-EFE/MICHAEL BUHOLZER / POOL

A two-day Summit on Peace in Ukraine began in Switzerland near Lucerne on Saturday, where delegates intend to map out a peace plan for Ukraine despite the absence of both Russia and China.

Delegations from 92 states will attend the summit, with 57 countries represented by national leaders, including Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands and Poland. The US will be represented by Vice President Kamala Harris.

The stated aim of the summit is to “stimulate a future peace process”, the Swiss government said in a statement on Friday, adding that Switzerland was “providing a platform for discussion where all states present can contribute their ideas and visions for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine”.

The summit will begin with bilateral talks between Swiss President Viola Amherd and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Delegates are then due to discuss Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan, which includes requirements for Russia to withdraw from all occupied Ukrainian territory, to release all prisoners of war and to pay reparations.

Russia was not invited to the talks, while China has declined to attend, reportedly due to Russia’s lack of participation.

On the eve of the summit, Vladimir Putin proposed his own peace plan, which includes the withdrawal of all Ukrainian troops from the entirety of Ukraine’s Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions, despite the fact that Russia does not have full control over any of these territories.

In a call very similar to the demands made during the early stages of the Russian invasion, Putin said Ukraine must also agree to be neutral, non-aligned, non-nuclear, demilitarised and “denazified”.

Zelensky dismissed Putin’s demands as “ultimatum messages that are no different from messages from the past” in a comment to Italy’s SkyTG24 news channel on Friday. “It is the same thing that Hitler used to do,” he added.

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