Peace talks ‘tomorrow’ if Russia leaves Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Kyiv will hold peace talks with Russia tomorrow if Moscow withdraws from all Ukrainian territory.

However, speaking at the end of a peace summit in Switzerland, he said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not end the war and must prevent it “by every possible means”, even if it means military or diplomatic law.

Western aid was not enough to win the war, he added, but the summit showed that international support for Ukraine had not weakened.

The meeting ended with dozens of countries pledging Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

A document was finally adopted which blamed Russia for widespread suffering and destruction during the war.

However, several participating countries including India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia did not sign.

The summit aims to generate the broadest possible support for a process that could help end the war in Ukraine.

More than 90 countries and international organizations attended the summit.

Russia was not invited and its biggest backer China was not present, leaving some doubting the summit’s effectiveness.

Some of those gathered at the Swiss resort of Bürgenstock were not Ukraine’s closest supporters, including Saudi Arabia, whose foreign minister had warned that Ukraine would have to make difficult compromises, and Kenya, which has spoken out against recent sanctions against Russia.

The final document calls for the restoration of Ukrainian control over the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, currently occupied by Russia.

It also refers to the Russian invasion as a “war,” a label that Moscow has rejected.

It calls for the exchange of all prisoners and the return of children kidnapped by Russia.

The most controversial topics, such as the status of land under Russian occupation, will be left for later.

Speaking to journalists after the summit, Mr. Zelensky thanked the world leaders who attended, saying he was grateful that they had shown independence in coming despite pressure from Russia on them. must stay away.

“This summit says international support [for Ukraine] has not weakened,” he said, noting that countries that had not previously participated in diplomatic efforts have joined the process.

When asked by the BBC whether Ukraine’s weaker position on the battlefield forced him to consider diplomatic moves, he replied that it was not and that Ukraine had always talked about peace.

He said Moscow’s presence at the talks would demonstrate its readiness for peace.

“Russia can start negotiations tomorrow if they withdraw from our territory,” he said.

Mr. Zelensky also said that China is not an enemy of Ukraine.

“We respect China and its territorial integrity, we want China to do the same with us,” he said, calling on Beijing to seriously participate in developing these issues. export peace.

Earlier, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the attendees were united in their efforts to find peace in Ukraine.

“We all know that we are only at the beginning, the beginning of the road to peace,” he said.

“And although some of us sitting around this table have different views on how to achieve peace for Ukraine, make no mistake… we are completely united in a common vision of the principles, values ​​and decency.

“You don’t invade another country. You don’t kidnap children. You don’t play politics with the world’s food supply. And you don’t jeopardize nuclear safety.”

It was expected that all delegations would endorse a final statement condemning the Russian invasion, but Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer told journalists on Sunday that the statement would not be unanimously supported. household.

Zelensky said on Saturday that the results of the Swiss summit would be communicated to Moscow “so that at the second peace summit we can resolve the real end of the war”.

Russia has described the events in Switzerland as a waste of time and on Friday President Vladimir Putin said he would agree to a ceasefire if Ukraine withdrew troops from four regions that Russia partly occupied and declared annexed. import.

But a day later Western leaders attending the summit strongly rejected Mr. Putin’s proposal.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni described this as “propaganda” and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak accused Putin of “fabricating a false story about his willingness to negotiate”.

Then on Sunday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Russian leader had not ruled out negotiations with Ukraine, but added that guarantees were needed to ensure their and his credibility. Zelensky cannot participate.

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