Slovakia Casts Doubt on Zelensky’s Peace Conference

The summit in Switzerland won’t put an end to the Ukraine conflict due to the absence of Russia and China, the Slovak FM has said

The Swiss-hosted Ukraine ‘peace summit’ is unlikely to yield significant results as several key players, including Russia, have declined to send delegations. Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Blanar expressed skepticism about the conference in a Facebook post on Friday. Blanar, representing Slovakia at the June 15-16 conference near Lake Lucerne, following Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico’s recent assassination attempt, cast doubt on the effectiveness of the event.

The highly anticipated Ukraine ‘peace summit’ aims to address several key aspects of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, encompassing prisoner exchanges, nuclear and food security, and a demand for Russia’s withdrawal from territories claimed by Ukraine. However, Moscow has dismissed the plan as unrealistic.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the conference as a Western maneuver to create the illusion of a global anti-Russian coalition, diverting attention from the conflict’s underlying causes.

While emphasizing Slovakia’s unwavering support for peace initiatives aimed at resolving the conflict, Blanar expressed his belief that “the conference is unlikely to produce a definitive resolution, given the absence of the Russian Federation, along with other global actors, such as China.”

Slovakia maintains that the hostilities can only be resolved through diplomacy, he added. 

Moscow asserts that the primary goal of the summit is to impose an “ultimatum” on Russia. 

China has also opted out of sending a delegation, citing the event’s lack of “three crucial elements” – acknowledgment of the event by both Moscow and Kiev, equal participation from all sides, and an impartial discussion of all peace proposals. 

China has also presented its own peace plan, which has received praise from Moscow. It advocates for “respecting the sovereignty of all countries” and “abandoning Cold War mentality.”

On Friday, Putin unveiled a new proposal to resolve the conflict with Ukraine. He stated that Moscow would engage in talks with Kiev once Ukraine withdraws its troops from the Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye Regions. Ukraine must also commit to neutrality, “denazification,” and “demilitarization,” he stipulated, adding that this agreement would lead to the lifting of Western sanctions against Russia. Both Kiev and NATO have rejected the proposal.