War in Ukraine: What you need to know about the Peace Summit taking place this weekend in Switzerland

War in Ukraine: What you need to know about the Peace Summit taking place this weekend in Switzerland

The Ukraine peace summit is taking place this weekend in Switzerland. MAXPPP – MICHAEL BUHOLZER/POOL

World leaders are expected in Switzerland this weekend to participate, alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in a peace summit in Ukraine to which Russia has not been invited.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed his hope on Saturday to achieve "a just peace as quickly as possible", at the start of the first summit on peace in Ukraine which is being held in Switzerland, without Russia.

"Everything agreed to (at this summit) will be part of the process of restoring the peace we all need", Zelensky said, adding: "We will see history being made during this summit".

Some 90 countries are participating but this summit displays measured ambitions in the absence of Russia and China.

Prisoners and deported children

The meeting, being held in the ultra-chic Burgenstock resort perched above Lake Lucerne, will begin with a plenary session late Saturday afternoon, followed by a dinner.

The final declaration is still under discussion. Switzerland has acceded to certain requests from Volodymyr Zelensky and his allies, according to the Swiss agency Keystone-ATS, citing a well-informed Ukrainian source. The term "Russian aggression" and "territorial integrity" of Ukraine would thus be in the latest version of the draft declaration.

On Sunday, three subjects will be discussed in working groups: nuclear safety, freedom of navigation and food security, and humanitarian aspects, in particular the fate of Ukrainian children deported to Russia.

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris denounced this "child theft", indicating s’ wait for their deportation"is’amplified as the summer months approach, when one hears repugnant references to vacation programs in Russia". The Ukrainians are demanding the return of nearly 20,000 minors "deported or forcibly displaced" in Russia.

Billions and alliances

US Vice President Kamala Harris, who represents President Joe Biden returning to the US after the G7 in Italy, came to the summit with aid of more than $1.5 billion dollars, mainly for the energy sector and for humanitarian aid.

Volodymyr Zelensky, who arrived on Friday evening, has just spent the last few weeks pleading his cause throughout the world and from the G7 to Italy with a loan of 50 billion dollars in his pocket. The funds will be guaranteed by the interest earned on Russian assets frozen since the start of the invasion. For Vladimir Putin, this is "a theft that will not go unpunished".

The Ukrainian president also signed security agreements with the United States and Japan on the sidelines of the G7, and is once again receiving weapons from the United States after long months of waiting which put his army in great difficulty. Finally on Friday evening, the 27 gave their "agreement in principle" to the opening of accession negotiations to the European Union. rsquo;EU.

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