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Summit struggle: Ukraine conference ends with unresolved declaration

. The declaration is "balanced", Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told journalists at the Bürgenstock resort on Sunday.
The declaration is "balanced", Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told journalists at the Bürgenstock resort on Sunday. Keystone Pool / Michael Buholzer

On the second day of the Ukraine summit in Switzerland, the international community is struggling to agree on a final declaration.

The declaration is “balanced”, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told journalists at the Bürgenstock resort on Sunday.The position of the Ukrainian delegation was considered and no alternative peace plans had been discussed at the meeting.

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Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said that the final declaration would probably lack unanimous support, as some countries had problems with the wording. There was a desire for a follow-up conference on Ukraine. However, it is too early to say what the arrangement of the next conference would look like and whether Russia would take part.

Ukraine peace summit: final declaration likely to lack full consensus

According to Nehammer, there could be an interim conference before a Russian delegation takes part. Kuleba emphasised that Ukraine would not allow Russia to make ultimatums. Before the start of the Ukraine conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin had set conditions for peace talks with Kyiv: one such ultimatum put forth stated that Russia would stop the armed conflict if Ukraine gave up its endeavours to join NATO. Additionally, Putin demanded the withdrawal of Ukrainian forces from the four regions that Russia has declared as annexed. Ukraine and several western delegations reject Putin’s demands. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted by Russian news agencies on Sunday as saying that Putin was not ruling out talks with Ukraine, but added that guarantees are needed to ensure the credibility of any negotiations, he said.

Representatives from more than 90 countries at the summit

World leaders from more than 90 countries had travelled to the meeting to find a broader consensus for peace negotiations for Ukraine. “Today is the day when the world begins to move closer to a just peace,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday on the secluded mountain restort overlooking Lake Lucerne. Zelensky described the summit as a success. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz explained that the aim was to find a framework and roadmap for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in Ukraine.

Some countries criticised the absence of Russia as an obstacle to progress. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud said that credible talks would require difficult compromises. Saudi Arabia, together with Turkey, is rumoured as a possible host for a follow-up conference.

How the Ukraine conference in Switzerland aims to find a path to peace

The draft of the final declaration obtained by Reuters news agency blames Russia for the “war” in Ukraine, which has caused great human suffering and destruction, and calls for respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity. It also calls for the government in Kyiv to regain control of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and access to its harbours on the Black and Azov Seas. All Ukrainian prisoners of war must be released and children deported from Ukraine must be returned home. A threat to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine in connection with the ongoing war is unacceptable.

Adapted from German by DeepL/amva

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