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Summit for peace in Ukraine, without Putin who demands capitulation

The first Summit for peace in Ukraine is taking place from Saturday around the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and without Russia, but Vladimir Putin invited himself into the conversation with a bang by demanding the day before a de facto capitulation of kyiv before any talks.

Summit for peace in Ukraine, without Putin who demands capitulation

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky upon his arrival near the luxury Bürgenstock hotel complex, central Switzerland, June 14, 2024 © POOL – ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE

More than fifty heads of state and government are meeting in the luxurious Bürgenstock hotel complex, in central Switzerland, until Sunday to lay the foundations of a path towards peace ultimately involving Moscow.

But for now, Mr. Zelensky has denounced the Russian president's “Hitler”-style “ultimatum”.

The United States and NATO immediately and categorically rejected these conditions from the master of the Kremlin, who launched the large-scale invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February 2022.

If the Russian army has the initiative on the front, it has suffered considerable losses there and is unable to gain a decisive advantage over the Ukrainian forces who continue to resist in the east of the country, where Moscow is nibbling away at ground. since the beginning of the year.

– Pacts, billions and weapons –

Summit for peace in Ukraine, without Putin who demands capitulation

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on June 14, 2024 © AFP – NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA

Mr. Zelensky has become a traveling diplomat in recent weeks to plead his cause, not without success. He arrives from Italy and the G7 Summit with a $50 billion loan in his pocket.

The funds will be guaranteed by the interest earned on Russian assets frozen since the start of the invasion. For Vladimir Putin, it is “a theft that will not go unpunished”.

The Ukrainian president also signed security agreements with the United States and Japan on the sidelines of the Summit of Seven after having done the same with several other allies in recent months, including France and the United Kingdom.

He again receives weapons from the United States after long months of waiting which put the Ukrainian army in great difficulty and Washington, as well as others allied countries, authorized it – under conditions – to use their weapons to strike directly on Russian territory.

Finally on Friday evening, the 27 gave their “agreement in principle ” at the opening of EU accession negotiations.

– Common ground –

The Burgenstock summit is not intended to end the war in Ukraine. It will instead focus on narrow themes, based on the commonalities between President Zelensky's 10-point peace plan presented in late 2022 and UN resolutions on war that have enjoyed broad support.< /p>

The Swiss hosts wanted to bring together as many countries as possible, particularly those from the global south. Once again on Thursday, the President of the Confederation, Viola Amherd, tried to convince – in vain – Brazilian President Lula to make the trip.

Summit for peace in Ukraine, without Putin who demands capitulation

A woman sets up microphones on June 13, 2024, ahead of the first Ukraine Peace Summit at a luxury resort south of Luverne, Switzerland © POOL – /Urs Flueeler

Brazil will ultimately be an observer, and among the other BRICS partners, India has decided to send a senior official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Saudi Arabia will be represented by its foreign minister.

South Africa prefers to send an envoy, and China had warned that it would not participate until Russia was on the table.

Vice President Kamala Harris will represent the United States, which remains the largest provider of aid to the Ukrainians.

The other G7 leaders will all be making the trip, as will EU leaders and the presidents of Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Finland and Poland.

– No exaggerated expectations –

Experts warn against exaggerated expectations.

“Meaningful negotiations that could truly end the devastating war in Ukraine remain elusive,” the International Crisis Group think tank said.

“kyiv and its supporters will struggle to get tangible results from the meeting … beyond reaffirming the UN Charter's principles of territorial integrity,” it added.

The summit aims to find pathways to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine, a framework for achieving that goal and a road map for how the two sides might come together in a future peace process.

A plenary session will be held on Saturday. On Sunday, three subjects will be discussed in detail in working groups: nuclear safety, freedom of navigation and food security, and humanitarian aspects, in particular the fate of Ukrainian children deported to Russia.

A second summit is planned, in which kyiv hopes a Russian delegation will participate and receive a “common plan” presented by the participants, Mr. Zelensky's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said on Tuesday.

Moscow may denigrate the summit, “Russia is doing everything possible to show its discontent” and thus proves that it is “worried”, declared to the AFP Samuel Charap, an expert from the American think tank RAND.

– 4,000 soldiers –

The summit takes place will be held in the ultra-chic resort of Bürgenstock, perched above Lake Lucerne, in a postcard-worthy landscape.

This spectacular location is accustomed to welcoming the elite, has been home to Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren and welcomed Sean Connery and the cast of the film “Goldfinger”.

The Bürgenstock mountain is surrounded by the lake on three sides and the hotel complex sits on a ridge about 450 meters above the water, which makes it relatively easy to secure.

Up to 4,000 troops have been deployed and 6.5 kilometers of steel fencing has been deployed. On the other hand, since Thursday the Swiss government has been fighting cyberattacks targeting ministries and organizations linked to the summit.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116