Major Ukraine peace summit to kick off in Switzerland – but no Russia or China

Damond Isiaka
3 Min Read


CNN
 — 

Nearly 100 countries and organizations are attending a major conference in Switzerland dedicated to setting out a path toward peace between Ukraine and Russia, but there will be no delegation from Moscow.

The meeting, which is being held at a resort near Lucerne, will be attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who wants to gather support for the 10-point peace plan he first outlined late in 2022.

Most Western governments will be represented, some at a senior level. US Vice President Kamala Harris is attending alongside heads of state and government from several European states, including France, Germany and the UK. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will also be there.

However, China will not attend. It has said that any such meeting needs to be attended by both Russia and Ukraine.

Zelensky’s plan includes demands for a cessation of hostilites, the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian soil and the restoration of Ukraine’s pre-war borders with Russia.

It also calls for the establishment of a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes.

Russia has expressed little interest in agreeing to those terms and has shown no sign of compromise when it comes to the territorial issues.

On Friday, the day before the summit was set to kick off, Russian President Vladimir Putin restated the Kremlin’s own peace plan, which Ukraine is unlikely to ever agree to.

The proposal calls for Ukrainian troops withdraw from four southern and eastern regions of Ukrainian territory that Moscow said it would annex in violation of international law and demands Kyiv abandon its bid to join NATO.

While Russian forces have made modest gains in two of the regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – in recent months, they are far from occupying all four, which include Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Zelensky responded in an interview with Italian television that “the fact that Putin says to give them part of our territories, occupied and unoccupied, speaks about several regions of our country, and he will stop (there), and there will be no frozen conflict.”

“The messages are the same as Hitler’s,” said Zelensky

“Putin understands that there will be a peace summit. That most of the world is on the side of Ukraine, on the side of life. And on the eve of the summit, amid air raid sirens, people being killed and missile attacks, he seems to be talking about some kind of ultimatum,” Zelensky added.

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