World Leaders Convene in Switzerland to Discuss Ukraine Peace Roadmap Amid Russian Absence
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff Writer with Agencies

OBBÜRGEN, Switzerland  — Dozens of world leaders gathered at a Swiss resort on Saturday to deliberate on ways to achieve peace in war-torn Ukraine. However, hopes for a significant breakthrough were tempered by the conspicuous absence of Russia from the talks.

Now three years into the conflict, Ukraine and Russia remain deeply entrenched in their positions, with Kyiv demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from all occupied territories and Moscow continuing its offensive, holding significant parts of eastern and southern Ukraine.

Despite Russia’s absence, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed optimism at the summit’s potential impact, stating that it could mark a historic turning point. “We have succeeded in bringing back to the world the idea that joint efforts can stop war and establish a just peace,” Zelenskyy said alongside Swiss President Viola Amherd during a news conference.

Zelenskyy emphasized that the summit could lay the foundation for a future resolution to the conflict. “At the first peace summit, we must determine how to achieve a just peace, so that at the second, we can already settle on a real end to the war,” he asserted.

The Bürgenstock resort summit, overlooking Lake Lucerne, drew more than 50 heads of state and government, along with representatives from about 100 delegations, including European bodies and the United Nations.

The summit’s agenda included discussions on nuclear safety, humanitarian assistance and prisoner exchanges, and global food security—issues that are less controversial but crucial to addressing the immediate impacts of the war. These topics are seen as preliminary steps compared to Zelenskyy’s more comprehensive 10-point peace plan, which calls for Russia’s complete withdrawal from occupied Ukrainian territories.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who laid out his terms for ending the war on Friday, did not introduce any new demands, which Kyiv dismissed as manipulative and absurd. Putin’s terms included Ukraine abandoning its NATO bid and withdrawing troops from four regions annexed by Russia in 2022, demands that Kyiv finds unacceptable.

The summit was attended by prominent leaders from various countries, including U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, British Prime Minister, and representatives from Turkey and Saudi Arabia. However, key developing nations like India, South Africa, and Brazil sent lower-level officials, reflecting their cautious stance on the issue. China, a significant backer of Russia, also did not participate, maintaining its stance that any peace process must involve both Russia and Ukraine.

As the leaders deliberated, the war continued unabated in Ukraine, with shelling causing civilian casualties. The summit’s outcome is uncertain, with experts suggesting that without Russia’s participation, significant progress may be elusive. Nonetheless, the gathering is viewed as an opportunity to reaffirm international support for Ukraine and highlight Russia’s violations of international law.

The International Crisis Group, which advises on conflict resolution, noted that while the Swiss summit might not yield immediate results, it serves as a platform for Ukraine and its allies to reiterate the need for a just peace based on international law.

As the summit concluded, world leaders left with a clearer understanding of the complex path ahead in seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine. The focus now shifts to future diplomatic efforts and the hope that a more inclusive dialogue will eventually bring an end to the war.

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