Peace Summit Ends with Watered-Down Declaration on Ukraine Conflict,

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As Critics Point to Lack of Concrete Steps

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A peace summit held in Switzerland concluded with a diluted declaration that endorsed Ukraine’s territorial integrity but failed to outline specific measures to end the ongoing conflict.

Out of the 92 national delegations present at the two-day summit, only 80 ultimately signed the final declaration, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had hoped would spur progress towards peace.

Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer, a signatory to the declaration, noted that disagreements over attributing responsibility for the war, particularly towards the Kremlin, had been a contentious issue. He emphasized, “It’s a matter of wording, but even those who chose not to sign reaffirmed their stance that the war must cease.”

Russia, which was not invited to the summit and had dismissed it as futile, rallied support among its allies like China, leading to their withdrawal from the proceedings. Russian President Vladimir Putin leveraged economic and military ties in Asia and Africa to advocate for a boycott of the summit and its declaration.

Despite efforts to foster a broad consensus, countries like India, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE opted for junior delegations and refrained from endorsing the final declaration. No nations from South Asia or Southeast Asia signed the document, and only a few African countries lent their support.

The declaration itself was seen as a compromise, addressing the “ongoing war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine” while focusing more on humanitarian concerns and securing vital supply routes than on outlining a clear path to peace.

President Zelensky nonetheless characterized the summit as a success, highlighting global unity and the commitment to justice. He expressed readiness for immediate peace talks with Russia, provided its troops withdrew from Ukrainian territories.

Zelensky stated, “Russia can initiate negotiations with us tomorrow, without any preconditions, by withdrawing from our sovereign territories.”

While most NATO leaders attended the summit in Bürgenstock near Lucerne, US President Joe Biden opted out, attending a separate engagement in Los Angeles. Vice President Kamala Harris represented the US, condemning Russia’s actions as an assault on international norms.

Although the summit did not solidify a global consensus against Russian aggression nor establish a roadmap for peace or future meetings, analysts viewed it as a crucial demonstration of solidarity with Ukraine and a step towards maintaining European support for Ukrainian defenses.

Sergey Radchenko, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, commented, “Rallying support for Kyiv is strategically sound. The summit’s reinforcement of European resolve to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities represents progress towards peace.”

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