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Kyiv hopes Russia will attend second Ukraine peace summit

The Burgenstock resort overlooking Lake Lucerne will host the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine
The Burgenstock resort overlooking Lake Lucerne will host the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine - Copyright AFP/File William WEST
The Burgenstock resort overlooking Lake Lucerne will host the first Summit on Peace in Ukraine - Copyright AFP/File William WEST
Robin MILLARD

Ahead of the first summit on peace in Ukraine, Kyiv said Tuesday it wanted Russia to attend a second summit, to receive an internationally agreed roadmap towards ending the conflict.

Moscow said it had no interest in joining this weekend’s meeting and so was not invited by hosts Switzerland, while Ukraine wants to get some concrete outcomes from the meeting to take forward to the second summit.

Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office, said the “bad experience” of previous negotiation formats involving Moscow, prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, meant that the end to the war needed to be built on a broad platform of support from the outset — and be rooted in international law.

“For the second summit, we will be working with all colleagues, with all countries who will be interested to be involved,” Yermak told European media organisations, via video-link from Berlin.

“We are planning to prepare together the joint plan which will be supported by all these responsible countries. And we’re looking for the possibility, in the second summit, to invite a representative of Russia, and together present this joint plan.”

A perspective backed by “100 or more countries” drawn from every continent, rather than just Ukraine’s position, “will be a real plan which will be very difficult to dispute”, he added.

More than 160 countries and international organisations were invited by Switzerland to the two-day summit at the Burgenstock resort complex, with more than 90 confirmations received so far.

Roughly half will be represented by the heads of state or government, and roughly half are from Europe.

– Door open for China –

On Monday, Swiss President Viola Amherd said the summit aimed to find paths towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine, based on international law and the UN charter.

It will also touch on freedom of navigation in the Black Sea and on prisoners of war.

“We think it’s already a success because it’s a big number of countries” attending, and “from all continents”, said Yermak.

Of Russia’s allies, China is staying away, while Brazil and South Africa also seem likely to be absent.

“We are ready to listen to the position of China,” said Yermak, calling their participation in the process “very important”.

Yermak said he hoped they would join sooner rather than later. Just as it is for Ukraine, “for China, territorial integrity is important. Nuclear safety is important”, he added.

“They have some days to change this position. We will be happy if a high-level representative of China will be in Switzerland,” he said.

“If not, we will continue to work with China and try to do the best from our side that they will appear at the second summit.”

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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