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11 Jun, 2024 08:34

Ukraine ‘peace conference’ will not urge withdrawal of Russian troops – media

A draft statement for the event addresses only three of the ten points in Zelensky’s plan, Japanese broadcaster NHK has said
Ukraine ‘peace conference’ will not urge withdrawal of Russian troops – media

A draft joint statement prepared for an upcoming ‘peace conference’ on Ukraine in Switzerland will likely fall short of demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories claimed by Kiev, NHK has reported.

The document also omits any mention of restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the Japanese news organization said on Tuesday after reviewing the draft statement.

The agenda will reportedly address only three out of the ten points promoted by Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky, such as the safety of nuclear power plants, food security, the release of prisoners and the return of children evacuated by Russia from the conflict zone, NHK’s English-language news site said.

Zelensky's topline demands when they were first floated in late 2022 included a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories that Ukraine considers its own, that Russia pays reparations and submits its officials to war tribunals, all dismissed out of hand by Moscow.

The points have been dropped from the draft joint statement because it took into account the stance of some Asian and Middle Eastern states that maintain ties with Russia, diplomatic sources told NHK.

The draft also states that all parties should take part in the search for peace, and stresses the importance of Russia’s participation in future discussions, according to article.

Russia has not been invited to the international gathering, due to take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Burgenstock Resort near Lucerne. Zelensky opposed the presence of a Russian delegation at the Swiss-hosted conference, saying it would enable Moscow to derail Ukraine’s diplomatic efforts.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RT earlier that it was “absurd” to hold a meeting on settling the conflict between Russia and Ukraine without Moscow attending. “This conference is completely without prospects,” he stressed.

The Russian authorities instantly rejected Zelensky’s ten-point plan as “unacceptable” when it was first presented. According to Moscow, the proposal disregards the actual situation on the ground, and is a sign of Kiev’s unwillingness to engage in negotiations.

Last week, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Moscow is ready to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis, but stressed that “fantasies” cannot be a basis for peace talks. “All negotiations are based on either military defeat, or military victory. Of course, we will win,” Putin said.