Home Featured Russia’s ghost loomed over Ukraine peace summit – POLITICO
Russia’s ghost loomed over Ukraine peace summit – POLITICO

Russia’s ghost loomed over Ukraine peace summit – POLITICO

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“This summit is a tremendous success,” U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan declared in a speech on Sunday. “You’ve managed to gather the whole world.” Sullivan and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris represented Washington at the summit, as President Joe Biden skipped the conference due to campaign events.

The summit kept the details vague in terms of deadlines and plans for the next meetings.

“Peace will be a journey,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “These were not peace negotiations, because Putin is not serious about ending the war. He is insisting on capitulation. No country would ever accept these outrageous terms,” she said.

For Kyiv, the peace conference represented a step toward building a coalition of intermediaries. | Sedat Suna/Getty Images

Zelenskyy said Putin’s ultimatum the day before the summit started actually played in Kyiv’s favor. “Some of the [countries] changed their mind after his ultimatum. The enemy’s mistakes are also a success for us,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy still insists that Ukraine would talk to Russia only after Moscow withdraws its troops, he said at the final presser on Sunday. But he said the Ukrainians are planning to involve Russia-friendly countries as intermediaries to help to push Moscow for peace.

“We need the support of the vast majority of the world to put pressure on Russia to end this war,” Zelenskyy said.

Much of the Global South, Latin America and Africa supported the final communique and agreed to help Ukraine during the series of meetings on bilateral level that are planned ahead of the next summit, the date of which is not yet settled.

“Unfortunately, Russia’s influence is still strong. Many countries are still trying to balance even after all the terrorism Putin brought to Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said. “Putin understood he can’t get out of isolation, so his goal is to bring other countries on his side. However, he’s fighting only for himself.”

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