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President Volodymyr Zelensky in a screenshot of a video interview with the Guardian published on June 1, 2024. (President Volodymyr Zelensky/Facebook)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed the notion that Ukraine would benefit from a pause in fighting in an interview with the Guardian on May 31, saying instead that it would allow Russia to regroup and rebuild its strength.

"Russia needs a break to stabilize its position on the battlefield," Zelensky said.

"Russia has more equipment that we do," he added, "but it also has a deficit. It lacks experienced soldiers, artillery shells, and missiles."

"Therefore, a pause will certainly benefit (Russia), definitely not us," Zelensky said.

If Russia is able to rebuild its forces during a pause in fighting, it will be able to become strong enough to issue ultimatums to Ukraine, such as ceding territory, a pledge not to join alliances (such as NATO), or other undesirable conditions, he added.

Such a ceasefire would be a "trap," Zelensky said.

The president's comments came as Ukraine prepares for the upcoming global peace summit, which is scheduled to be held in Switzerland on June 15-16. Some 90 countries have already confirmed their participation as of this week

Zelensky said he hoped the summit would address several key areas, such as energy security, the exchange of captives, the return of deported children, global food security, and other topics. One of the key elements of the 10-point peace formula is the complete withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine.

Russia was not invited to the talks, but the Swiss hosts said that Moscow's representatives will have to take part in the process "sooner or later."

Kyiv has warned that Russia is attempting to disrupt the summit.

Bloomberg reported in May that U.S. President Joe Biden would likely not attend the summit, which prompted criticism from Zelensky.

"I believe that the peace summit needs President Biden, and other leaders need President Biden because they will look at the U.S.'s reaction," Zelensky said.

"(Biden's) absence would only be met by an applause by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, a personal, standing applause by Putin," he added.

At the same time, U.S. officials told the Financial Times (FT) that Ukraine had scheduled the summit despite being informed that Biden would not be able to attend. A yet unannounced senior official will attend in his place.

Bloomberg: EU wants to follow up peace summit with conference with Russia in autumn, sources say
The EU is discussing how to progress from Ukranie’s global peace summit in June to a possible meeting with Russian participation in Saudi Arabia in autumn, Bloomberg reported on May 27, citing undisclosed official sources.

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6:52 PM

Ukraine's GDP grew by more than 4% in 6 months.

"Due to the high adaptability to difficult conditions and experience in responding to such challenges, the Ukrainian economy continued to grow" in June, said Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko.
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