Switzerland to Host Global Peace Summit on Ukraine, Excluding Russia
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Swiss Federal President Viola Amherd (R) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy address a press conference after bilateral talks in Kehrsatz near Bern, Switzerland, 15 January 2024. [EPA-EFE/ALESSANDRO DELLA VALLE / POOL]

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Gains Swiss Support for Peace Summit

Switzerland has agreed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request to host a global peace summit focused on ending Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The summit, expected to include leaders from various countries, aims to energize diplomatic efforts to bring about a just end to the war and restore the force of international law.

During a visit to Bern, Zelenskyy held talks with Swiss President Viola Amherd. Following the discussions, Zelenskyy announced that preparations for the peace summit would begin, marking two years since Russia’s war in Ukraine started.

Notably, Russia will not be invited to the summit. Zelenskyy expressed openness to countries that respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, emphasizing a desire for global representation, including countries from the global south and China.

The decision to organize the peace summit follows a fourth round of talks held by national security advisors from 83 countries in Davos on Sunday. The aim was to find common ground on Ukraine’s peace formula amid Russia’s intensified aerial assaults.

No specific timeline was provided for the summit, but Zelenskyy stressed the importance of world leaders attending to demonstrate global unity against Russia’s aggression.

Swiss President Amherd highlighted the importance of demining for reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine. She announced a high-level conference on humanitarian demining challenges in Ukraine, scheduled for October in Geneva.

Switzerland, known for its well-armed military neutrality, has supported economic sanctions on Russia, aligning with the European Union’s stance. Despite this, Switzerland has not supplied armaments to Kyiv or allowed the re-exportation of Swiss-made weaponry to Ukraine.

Addressing the issue of frozen Russian financial assets worldwide, Zelenskyy emphasized the urgency, stating that using these assets to defend against Russian aggression is not only effective as a punishment but also fair. He stressed that those who initiated the war should bear the highest price for their actions.

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