Significant support for Ukraine at peace summit – but key nations hesitate

Eighty countries called for Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” to be the basis of any peace deal on Sunday – but a number of nations did not join in.

World leaders including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy and France’s Emmanuel Macron were among around 100 delegations at a two-day conference in Switzerland this weekend.

The summit was aimed at ending Russia’s war in Ukraine. Moscow was not invited, and its main ally China declined to attend.

Vladimir Putin is not ruling out talks with Ukraine, according to his spokesperson, who said guarantees would be needed to ensure the credibility of any negotiations.

It comes as Kremlin forces in Ukraine claim to have taken control of a village in Zaporizhzhia.

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‘We must bring each and every one of them home’

A joint communique from 80 countries said the UN Charter and “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty… can and will serve as a basis for achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine”.

“The ongoing war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine continues to cause large-scale human suffering and destruction, and to create risks and crises with global repercussions,” the declaration said.

More on Ukraine

Participants India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates were among those that did not sign up to the final document, which focused on issues of nuclear safety, food security and the exchange of prisoners.

Brazil, which has “observer” status, also did not sign. With China, Brazil has jointly sought to plot alternative routes toward peace.

Rishi Sunak arrive at the Summit on peace in Ukraine.
Pic: Reuters
Rishi Sunak arrives at the peace conference. Pic: Reuters

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Ursula von der Leyen, chief of the European Commission, said this weekend has brought peace closer to Ukraine, but that peace will not be achieved in one step.

“It was not a peace negotiation because Putin is not serious about ending the war, he’s insisting on capitulation, he’s insisting on ceding Ukrainian territory – even territory that today is not occupied,” she said.

Analysts say the two-day conference is likely to have little concrete impact towards ending the war because the country leading and continuing it, Russia, was not invited.

Montenegro Prime Minister Milojko Spajic told the gathering on Sunday: “As a father of three, I’m deeply concerned by thousands of Ukrainian kids forcibly transferred to Russia or Russia-occupied territories of Ukraine.”

“We all at this table need to do more so that children of Ukraine are back in Ukraine,” he added.

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