Ukraine Peace Efforts Highlighted at Switzerland Summit, Missing Major Players China and Russia
Ukraine Peace Efforts Highlighted at Switzerland Summit, Missing Major Players China and Russia

SwitzerlandWorld leaders are gathering in Switzerland for a crucial summit aimed at pressuring Russia to end its war in Ukraine. However, the absence of significant allies of Moscow, such as China, is expected to reduce the summit's potential impact.

Among the attendees are U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, and leaders from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, along with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Additionally, India, Turkey, and Hungary, which maintain friendlier relations with Russia, are expected to participate.

China, however, is staying away after Russia was excluded from the event. Russia dismissed the summit as “futile” and showed no interest in attending. Without China's presence, the Western hopes of isolating Russia have diminished, especially given the recent military setbacks for Ukrainian forces.

Richard Gowan, United Nations director at the International Crisis Group, remarked, “The summit risks showing the limits of Ukrainian diplomacy. Nonetheless, it is also a chance for Ukraine to remind the world that it is defending the principles of the UN Charter.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz highlighted the event as an important step towards progress. “Many questions of peace and security will be discussed, but not the very biggest. 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,” he said in an interview with Welt TV before heading to Switzerland.

Polish President Andrzej Duda stated that the summit aims to make geographically distant countries understand the global threat posed by Russia.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country would end the war if Ukraine agreed to drop its NATO ambitions and hand over four provinces claimed by Moscow. Ukraine swiftly rejected these demands as tantamount to surrender. Both Ukraine and the U.S. dismissed Putin’s conditions, but his statement seemed to reflect a growing confidence that Russian forces have the upper hand in the conflict.

Scholz commented, “Everyone knows that this proposal wasn’t meant seriously, but had something to do with the peace conference in Switzerland.”

Russia describes its military actions in Ukraine as part of a broader struggle with the West, which it claims wants to weaken Russia. Ukraine and its Western allies reject this, accusing Russia of waging an illegal war of conquest.

Switzerland, hosting the summit at the request of Zelenskyy, aims to pave the way for a future peace process that includes Russia. Approximately 90 countries and organizations have committed to the two-day gathering at the Buergenstock, a mountaintop resort in central Switzerland.

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