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Ukraine peace talks held in Davos, Switzerland

Ukraine peace talks

National security advisers from 83 countries met in Davos, Switzerland, on the eve of the World Economic Forum on Sunday to discuss Ukraine’s 10-point peace plan to end the Russo-Ukrainian war.

This is the fourth such meeting organized by Ukraine on the plan put forward by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which calls for the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territories.

These 83 countries include 18 Asian countries and 12 African countries. The number of delegations greatly exceeds the 65 people who attended the last round of talks in Malta at the end of October. The previous two talks were held in Copenhagen and Jeddah.

The national security advisers of four emerging economies—Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa—attended the talks. These countries are members of the BRICS alliance.

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, co-chair of the meeting, praised the participants for playing an important role in the talks.

Cassis said, “The participation of the BRICS alliance is very important because these countries have relations with Russia. All these can generate collective interaction, allowing countries far away from the conflict to play a role and influence China and Russia.”

But as Cassis pointed out, China was absent from these talks.

He also said, “China plays a huge role. We must find ways to cooperate with China on this.”

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, praised more countries from the Global South for participating in Ukraine’s peace efforts. He also said on Sunday that it was important for China to participate in discussions on “peaceful methods.”

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It is unclear whether these BRICS countries agree with Zelensky’s peace plan, which calls for a total withdrawal of Russian troops, prosecution of Russian war crimes, and the return of thousands of Ukrainian children kidnapped by Russia.

Russia, which was not invited to the meeting, controls less than a fifth of Ukraine. Russia calls Ukraine’s peace plan ridiculous because Ukraine is seeking peace without Russia’s involvement.

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska said on Sunday that peace between Ukraine and Russia would not be possible until at least May 2025.

Deripaska said on the Telegram application, “Unfortunately, a constructive talk on the situation in Ukraine will not take place because there is no Russian delegation participating.”

Yermak said at a press conference that unless Russia completely withdraws from all Ukrainian territory, Ukraine will not accept it.

He said no allies wanted Ukraine to make any compromises; “they know we won’t accept them,” and that it would never accept a “frozen conflict.”

He said, “The most important thing for all Ukrainians is winning this war.”

Yermak said in an earlier statement from the Ukrainian presidential palace that a simple ceasefire would not stop Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine.

He said, “This is not a peaceful path. The Russians do not want peace. They want dominance.”

In response to a question about whether Zelensky will meet with Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, who is leading a delegation to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Yermak said, “We’ll see.” He has not yet seen the final arrangements of the Ukrainian president.

Cassis said Zelensky will speak at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday in an effort to increase international attention on Ukraine’s defense.

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The presidential office said Zelensky will travel to Bern, Switzerland, on Monday to meet with parliamentary leaders, party leaders, and the Swiss president.

Bloomberg News reported Sunday that Zelensky will also meet with JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron, and key Middle East leaders are expected to focus on ending the wars in Ukraine and Gaza during a forum that opens on Monday.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry said in a statement introducing the forum that “the war (in Ukraine) is far from over and there is no sign of peace.”

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