Swiss-Hosted Ukraine Peace Summit To Include 100 Countries, But Not Russia

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024 - 09:20 PM

The much anticipated Switzerland-hosted international Ukraine peace conference is finally coming together, the Swiss government announced Wednesday; however, it will not include Russian representation.

"Switzerland’s government said Wednesday it will host a high-level international conference in June to help chart a path toward peace in Ukraine after more than two years of war, in hopes that Russia might join in the peace process one day," The Associated Press reports of the announcement.

The conference is set for June 15-16 at the lakeside Bürgenstock resort near Lucerne. The Swiss are expected to invite the participation of more than 100 countries, in accord with a plan proposed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, which has been worked on for months.

Zelensky has been meeting with Swiss leadership for months, laying the groundwork for the peace conference.

President Joe Biden might actually attend in person, given he's expected to already be in Italy just days before attending a G7 summit set for June 13-15.

The Swiss government confirmed Wednesday, "At its meeting today, the Federal Council took note of the results to date and discussed the next steps. There is currently sufficient international support for a high-level conference to launch the peace process."

While admitting that there remain "some unknowns" ahead of the conference, the statement said "in view of Switzerland’s long-standing diplomatic tradition and the encouraging feedback received during the exploratory phase, it considers it its responsibility to contribute to the peace process in Ukraine."

One thing is certain — if the Swiss hope to actually produced peace negotiations, this remains an impossibility without the other participant in the war. Moscow's absence sets the stage for a mere empty exercise is affirming Zelensky's own vision for what an end to the war would look like.

Zelensky has previously laid out Ukraine's "10-point peace plan" which was first presented by Zelensky in 2022. It includes the following points:

  1. Radiation and nuclear safety
  2. Food security
  3. Energy security
  4. Release of prisoners and deportees
  5. Implementation of the UN Charter
  6. Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities
  7. Justice
  8. Ecocide and the protection of the environment
  9. Prevention of escalation
  10. Confirmation of the end of the war

Russia has repeatedly rejected it as a non-starter, given especially it calls for all Russian troops to leave Ukraine and the cede back captured territory. Zelensky has in the past even pressed the 'return of Crimea' issue - which is another impossibility from the Kremlin's point of view.

In February, President Vladimir Putin told American journalist Tucker Carlson that Ukraine Western supporters must understand it is "impossible" to defeat Russia in Ukraine. "Up until now, there has been the uproar and screaming about inflicting a strategic defeat to Russia on the battlefield. But now they are apparently coming to realize that it is difficult to achieve, if possible, at all. In my opinion, it is impossible by definition," he said according to the transcript. 

One key country that Switzerland and the Ukrainian government want to see present for the June peace conference is China. Zelensky officials have voiced a desire to see China intervene with Russia to get it to exit Ukraine. If China refuses to attend in June, there can be little hope that the conference will actually produce anything beneficial.