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World Leaders Attend A Major Ukraine Peace Summit In Switzerland, But Russia And China Are Absent

World Leaders Attend A Major Ukraine Peace Summit In Switzerland, But Russia And China Are Absent

Over 100 countries and organizations have convened for a major conference in Switzerland aimed at establishing a path to peace summit between Ukraine and Russia, although no delegation from Moscow is present.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is using the meeting, held at a resort near Lucerne, to rally support for the 10-point peace plan he introduced in late 2022.

Speaking at the conference on Saturday, Zelensky said the proposal to end the war would be submitted to Russia after being agreed upon by the attending nations, followed by a second peace summit to finalize the end of the war.

Read more: Ukraine Summit In Switzerland: ‘Neutral’ Pakistan Declines To Attend

“The peace formula is inclusive, and we welcome and work on all proposals and ideas necessary for peace,” Zelensky stated. “I urge you to be active and am proud that all parts of the world, all continents, are represented at the peace summit.”

Most Western governments have sent senior representatives. US Vice President Kamala Harris attended and announced a more than $1.5 billion aid package from Washington to help Ukraine rebuild infrastructure and address humanitarian needs, according to a White House statement on Saturday.

“This war is a complete failure for Putin. I am here to stand with Ukraine and global leaders in support of a just and lasting peace,” Harris said.

Leaders from several European states, including France, Germany, and the UK, as well as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, are participating. However, China is not attending, stating such a meeting should include both Russia and Ukraine.

Zelensky’s plan demands a cessation of hostilities, restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, withdrawal of Russian troops, and restoration of Ukraine’s pre-war borders, along with a special tribunal for Russian war crimes.

“Ukraine never wanted this war; it’s a criminal and unprovoked aggression by Russia. The only one who wanted it was Putin,” Zelensky said.

Russia shows little interest in these terms and has not compromised on territorial issues. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated the Kremlin’s peace plan, which Ukraine is unlikely to accept.

The proposal demands that Ukrainian troops withdraw from four southern and eastern regions that Moscow claims to have annexed in violation of international law, and that Kyiv abandon its NATO membership bid.

Although Russian forces have made modest gains in Donetsk and Luhansk recently, they do not fully occupy all four regions, which also include Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

Later in the day, Putin announced that nearly 700,000 Russian soldiers are currently fighting in Ukraine, an increase from the 617,000 reported at the end of 2023.

In an interview with Italian television, Zelensky responded, stating, “Putin’s demand for us to cede parts of our territories, both occupied and unoccupied, and his discussion of several regions shows he won’t stop there, preventing a frozen conflict.”

Zelensky likened Putin’s rhetoric to that of Hitler, saying, “The messages are the same as Hitler’s.”

He added, “Putin knows a peace summit is imminent, with most of the world supporting Ukraine and life. On the eve of the summit, amid air raid sirens, deaths, and missile attacks, he seems to be issuing an ultimatum.”