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World leaders hope to reach agreement to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine

World leaders hope to reach agreement to condemn Russia's invasion of

Dozens of world leaders gathered in Switzerland hope to reach agreement to condemn Russia's full-scale occupation of Ukraine on the second and final day of a peace summit on June 16.

The absence of Russia and China at the Global Peace Summit, which was initiated by Ukraine, has dimmed hopes for any major achievements.

On the eve of the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin laid out tough conditions for a ceasefire, including demanding that Ukraine hand over four regions not only in parts occupied by Russian occupation forces, but also in regions controlled by Ukraine.

These demands were immediately rejected by Kiev and its Western backers.

Speaking at the summit being held in the Burgenstok resort on June 15, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that "we have succeeded in bringing back the idea that joint efforts can stop war and bring peace."

Among the participants in this summit is the American Vice President Kamala Harris, the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and the French President Emmanuel Macron.

The President of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, will also participate in this summit, her Office confirmed on Friday.

With this summit, Zelensky is asking that as many countries as possible support the cause of Ukraine, especially the countries from the so-called Global South, as well as to keep the world's attention on the brutal occupation of Ukraine by Moscow.

The June 15-16 summit is the culmination of Zelensky's efforts over the past 19 months to engage global leaders to help end Europe's biggest war since World War II.

Switzerland agreed to host the summit in the hope that it would pave the way for a future peace process that would include Russia.

Zelensky did not want Russia to be invited to the summit at this time.

After the meeting on June 16, delegates will debate and agree on a final summit statement, which is expected to focus on three issues: calling for the need for nuclear and food security, the return of prisoners of war and children removed from Ukraine during the war.

Ihor Zhovka, Zelensky's deputy chief of staff, told reporters that Kiev has decided to focus on these three issues "because the majority of the international community agrees with these three positions today."

A draft of the document, seen by Reuters, refers to Russia's invasion of Ukraine as "war" - a term Moscow opposes - and calls for Ukraine to take control of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and return its ports. in the Sea of ​​Azov.

Responding to a question from REL, Andriy Yermak, Zelensky's chief of staff, told reporters on June 165 that this document will be sent to Russian representatives invited to the next summit.

At the peace summit on June 16, it is expected to decide who will be the host country of the future conference.

It is believed that Saudi Arabia is one of the main candidates. Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said on June 15 that the kingdom is ready to help the peace process, but warned that a long-term solution depends on "difficult compromises".

China, which backs Russia, joined dozens of other countries that were absent. Beijing has said that it is necessary for both Russia and Ukraine to participate in the peace process.

On June 15, the first day of the summit, many Western leaders condemned Russia's occupation of Ukraine, citing the UN's charter to protect its territorial integrity, and rejecting Putin's demands to step down. from the earth for peace.

"One thing is clear in this conflict: We have an aggressor, he is Putin, and we have a victim, that is, the Ukrainian people," said the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez.

"Russia must understand that it has borders, like any other country, and it also has neighbors, like any other country. This international community, the new security architecture, can exist only when the big countries, the biggest, recognize their neighbors, respect them and their territorial integrity", said the president of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili.

Harris said that Putin's proposal for peace was not a call for talks, but a call "for Ukraine to surrender."

She reiterated full US support for Ukraine and announced a new $1.5 billion US aid package for multiple projects, including energy infrastructure and civilian security.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized that "peace in Ukraine cannot be achieved without the involvement of Russia", but underlined that Russia has rejected all joint calls for peace.

Ahead of the summit, the Group of Seven (G7) of the most industrialized nations agreed to give Kiev a $50 billion loan using frozen Russian assets.

Later, US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a 10-year security agreement, which they hailed as a milestone in relations between their countries.

Biden, who is not attending the peace summit in Switzerland despite pleas from Zelensky, said the US would also send a Patriot anti-aircraft system to Ukraine.

Finally, the US gave Ukraine permission to use US weapons for attacks inside Russia, but only for limited purposes to defend Kharkiv./ REL

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