Former Ukraine's Foreign Minister on the Peace Summit, leverage on non-Western countries and China's stance

Wednesday, 19 June 2024 —

The Peace Summit in Switzerland was a significant event for Ukraine, but it certainly did not mark the end of the processes. Rather, it was the beginning.

Challenges that need to be addressed now are still ahead. First and foremost, it is essential to understand what the world expects from Ukraine and how we can turn these expectations to our advantage.

Editor of European Pravda Sergiy Sydorenko discussed these topics, the likelihood of "freezing" the war, attitudes towards negotiations and more with Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs (2014-2019) – Klimkin: 'Ukraine will have to reach negotiations with Russia. The main thing is to conduct them from a position of strength.'

The most important outcome of the Peace Summit is that it has occured.


This provides us with a platform that currently has no direct analogs, including both Western and non-Western countries. Given our limited influence on geopolitics, utilising such formats is very appropriate.

Does this summit meet expectations? In the logic of "defeat-victory," it is certainly a victory.

However, we need to maintain this victory.

This truly unique process needs to be carried through to the point where it is noticeable and impactful. To achieve this, we need to convince our partners that a just peace is not only necessary for us but also for them. Especially when we are talking to the "non-Western world."

We need to present this not only through Ukraine's lens but also through the perspective that the entire system is not working.

It is important that the summit took place despite all Kremlin's attempts to torpedo it, and these attempts were serious.

Beijing also did not want its success, but the reasons and logic behind this are entirely different.

Beijing does not want Ukraine's victory, but it also does not want Russia's victory.

China wants its own victory in the long term. And it will continue to use Russia as a tool to achieve its goals, weakening the West with its help.

Additionally, China plays a fundamental role in supporting the Russian defence industry.

In fact, Beijing does not want to destruct the West as an ecosystem. No, China wants to have influence on global decision-making on roughly equal terms with the West.

Russia wants to destroy it. So the international strengthening of Russia is not part of China's plans.

The final goal of the process initiated by the Peace Summit is to reach negotiations with Russia from a position of strength and on our terms.

This is the understanding of the West, and this is the understanding of Ukraine.

Protecting Ukraine from Russia becomes part of Europe's self-preservation logic. What is at stake is the existence of the collective West in the 21st century. Western states have finally started raising the stakes.

A significant part of our Western friends does not see resources, military, financial or human, on such a scale that would allow us to reach the border without unwanted escalation.

And this is how the West thinks – to avoid unwanted escalation with a nuclear state like Russia.

So it is not surprising that part of the West allows for some kind of freeze option.

But the positive is that even those who allow for a freeze say that Ukraine should lead them from a position of strength.

In fact, I see a favourable trend for us in the West.

The mainstream view is becoming that it is possible and necessary to talk to Russia, but from a position of strength, without compromises and market-style bargains.

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