Why Swiss Peace Summit could become a defeat for Ukraine and Zelenskyy

Thursday, 6 June 2024 —

A week is left until the summit, but everything is going not the way it was planned. This summit will likely only harm Ukraine.

European Pravda has obtained the latest draft decision of the summit – the Joint Communiqué on a Peace Framework. Some amendments to the document are dangerous for Ukraine.

Read more in the article by Sergiy Sydorenko, a European Pravda editor - Swiss Peace Summit could end up harming Ukraine as nothing is going to plan

In the autumn of 2022, President Zelenskyy presented to the key countries at the G20 summit the so-called Ukraine’s Peace Formula (also referred to as Zelenskyy's peace plan) – 10 objectives that outlined Ukraine's vision for ending the Russian war.


Two years later, all of these provisions are still relevant. 

Some might also call this document the "formula for Ukraine's victory," as it stipulates that Russia must abandon the occupation of Ukrainian territories, compensate for damages, punish and condemn those guilty of aggression (obviously, including Putin). 

Many countries and organisations, including the European Union, publicly declared their unconditional support for the Ukrainian plan. Alternative proposals, such as the Chinese one, were put aside to an extent.

An extremely important detail of the Ukrainian initiative was that it did not require Kyiv to coordinate any of this with Moscow, and in general, it did not foresee Russia's participation throughout the entire process. On the contrary, the idea was that the world would first agree on everything, and only then, through pressure, "force Russia to peace."

Any plan requires negotiations. That's how diplomacy works. So Ukraine couldn't just present its 10 objectives and wait.

To discuss the "peace formula," meetings of leaders' advisers began. Currently, four of these took place: in Copenhagen, Jeddah (KSA), Malta and Davos.

The only truly successful meeting was in Jeddah, where China agreed to participate. However, very soon, the Chinese withdrew from the dialogue, returned to their peace plan and simultaneously shifted to more active support of Russia on the battlefield. Kyiv continues to try to bring the Chinese back, but it's all in vain.

Ignoring this reality, Kyiv initiated the Peace Summit. Moreover, Zelenskyy's team set the goal of involving as many countries as possible, even those in China's sphere of influence, and achieving the adoption of a joint summit decision by consensus.

The draft decision is ready. We have seen both the initial version and the final one, shared with the participating countries for a review on 28 May. However, if adopted, this decision completely destroys the initial idea of the Peace Summit that Ukraine publicly communicated.

Now it states that summit participants base their discussions on "previous discussions that have taken place based on Ukraine’s Peace Formula and other peace proposals." Consequently, the unacceptable to Kyiv Chinese plan, which envisaged stopping hostilities at the current line (and normalised the occupation of part of Ukraine), or others based on concessions from Ukraine to the aggressor, receive equal legitimacy.

Importantly, the peace summit will not seek a path to peace (even if that sounds like nonsense). The agenda includes three issues: nuclear security, food security and the release of prisoners. As the Swiss explain, this narrow choice was made to "facilitate consensus."

However, during the approval of the summit decision in Switzerland, this entire chain was removed. Russia's inclusion, however, remained. Now, to become a participant in the process, it is enough to hold negotiations on nuclear security, food security and prisoner exchanges.

Adopting such a decision will send a powerful signal to the world that Ukraine is ready to make concessions to the aggressor for the sake of "peace," and Zelenskyy has personally approved the possibility of such concessions at the summit in Switzerland.

But we certainly still have the right to refuse the summit's final document, which, after all the edits, does not look acceptable for Ukraine. Because approving SUCH a final communiqué carries huge risks for us. Kyiv can refer to unacceptable amendments, their rejection by Ukrainian society, etc.

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