At Ukraine Summit, 80 Nations Call for Peace Talks

Several countries with trade ties to Russia decline to sign agreement
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2024 4:00 PM CDT
Nearly All Nations at Summit Call for Ukraine-Russia Talks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seen on a camera's screen during the plenary session during the summit on peace in Ukraine in Obb?rgen, Switzerland, on Sunday.   (Urs Flueeler/Keystone via AP)

A two-day summit in Switzerland concluded Sunday with more than 80 nations and organizations calling for all parties to engage in talks to end Russia's war on Ukraine and the protection of the invaded nation's "territorial integrity." But several nations in attendance that are major trading partners of Russia's did not sign on, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he opposes negotiations that could lead to his nation giving up territory. That left the gathering without a clear consensus on the major question of the summit, the New York Times reports: When and how should Ukraine and Russia negotiate for peace?

A goal of the meeting was to build support for the peace plan Zelensky first presented in 2022, per CNN. It included provisions Russia sounds unlikely to agree to, such as restoring Ukraine's borders with Russia to what they were before the invasion. At a news conference, Zelensky called it "important that all participants of this summit support this Ukraine's territorial integrity because there will be no lasting peace without territorial integrity." Still, he said Sunday the agreement is a first step toward peace, adding that Russia wants to divide the world. "Unfortunately there are people who are still balancing," he said, per the Guardian. India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates attended the meeting but did not agree to the joint statement.

At the summit, Vice President Kamala Harris announced a $1.5 billion aid package for Ukraine, saying it will fund humanitarian efforts and help rebuild the nation's infrastructure after Russian attacks. The aid will go toward "improving Ukraine's resilience to energy supply disruptions," she said, per NBC News. (More Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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