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15 Jan, 2024 09:56

Ukraine denies deadlock at Davos ‘peace formula’ talks

President Zelensky’s chief-of-staff dodged a question about the lack of a joint statement after the gathering in Switzerland
Ukraine denies deadlock at Davos ‘peace formula’ talks

Ukraine has claimed that a meeting on its so-called ‘peace formula’ on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Sunday was successful, despite the fact that no joint communique was released after the gathering.

The national security and policy advisers gathered at the Swiss resort were expected to push forward a ten-point plan formulated by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky for the conflict with Russia. The Ukrainian delegation claimed that Sunday’s discussion was “crucial for all humankind” at a press conference later the same day. No Russian delegation was invited to the event.

Andrey Yermak, the head of the presidential office and senior Ukrainian negotiator, acknowledged that there had been a difference of positions among participants, but downplayed it as insignificant and even “good” for his nation’s cause. Zelensky wants the international community to resolve the conflict through a transparent process rather than talks held behind closed doors, he claimed.

When pressured by the Swiss media why the purported consensus was not reflected in a joint statement, the senior official said Ukraine continues to resist calls for immediate peace talks with Russia.

“Somebody thinks that it’s necessary immediately sitting [at] the table of negotiations. And we very clear, very openly explain why now it is not acceptable,” he told the audience in English.

He reiterated Kiev’s wish to continue fighting until all its objectives are achieved, stressing: “Ukraine need not frozen conflict. Ukraine need just peace [sic].”

Ukraine’s ‘peace formula’ demands that it regain control of all its pre-2014 territory. It also calls for war reparations and the prosecution of the Russian leadership, among other issues. Moscow dismissed the proposal as detached from reality immediately after Zelensky unveiled it in November 2022.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov branded the formula a “baby comforter” and “a figment of a sick imagination” in an interview last month, arguing that talks on the Ukrainian plan were nothing but a publicity stunt.

Speaking to the media after the meeting in Davos, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis insisted that “one way or another, Russia will have to be included” in the final resolution of the Ukraine crisis.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the meeting in Davos “talking for the sake of talking,” arguing that it could not produce results “for the obvious reason” that Russia was not included.