Swiss Conference Tackles Peace Path | God's World News

Swiss Conference Tackles Peace Path

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    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, attends a session during the Summit on Peace in Ukraine on June 16, 2024, in Switzerland. (Michael Buholzer/Keystone via AP)
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    Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, left, walks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Summit on June 16, 2024. (Michael Buholzer/Keystone via AP)
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On Sunday, about 100 countries met in Switzerland. Leaders discussed ending the Russia-Ukraine war. Nearly 80 declared that keeping Ukraine’s borders intact must be the basis for any peace agreement. The path for diplomacy remains unclear.

Some key nations did not join the conference, including Russia. The invading nation was not invited.

President Vladimir Putin’s military invaded Ukraine in February 2022. The ensuing war has killed or injured hundreds of thousands of people. The conflict has also driven a wedge between the West—which supports Ukraine—and Russia, China, and some other countries.

Only about half of UN member countries took part in the Swiss conference. Experts claim that low attendance reveals war fatigue as well as other concerns.

Attendees included presidents and prime ministers from France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Poland, Argentina, Ecuador, Kenya, and Somalia. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke for the United States.

India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates were among the countries that did not sign the final document. China did not attend.

The Swiss document focuses on nuclear safety, food security, and the exchange of prisoners. It declares that “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty” is “a basis for achieving a [full,] just, and lasting peace in Ukraine.”

Putin wants Ukraine to give up more territory. He also wants the country to stop trying to join NATO.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni recognizes how absurd Putin’s demand is. She says, “It doesn’t seem particularly effective to me as a negotiation proposal to tell Ukraine that it must withdraw from Ukraine.”

Swiss President Viola Amherd believes the UN agreement “shows what diplomacy can achieve.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the meeting’s “first steps toward peace.” He also says Ukraine is in talks with some unnamed countries. They offered to host a “second peace summit.”

As to why some countries attending didn’t endorse the final statement, Ukraine expert Volodymyr Dubovyk says, “They are playing ‘Let’s have peace based on concessions’ game, and they usually mean concessions by Ukraine, and basically accommodating Russian demands.” He adds that many countries like being or appearing neutral.

Ursula von der Leyen is president of the EU executive commission. She asserts that Putin isn’t serious about ending the war.

“He is insisting on [surrender]. He is insisting on ceding Ukrainian territory. . . . He is insisting on disarming Ukraine,” von der Leyen says. “No country would ever accept these outrageous terms.”