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Ukraine may consider participating in China-led peace summit, ambassador says

by Martin Fornusek June 20, 2024 7:58 PM 2 min read
Kateryna Zelenko, Ukraine's ambassador to Singapore, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview on the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022.(Ore Huiying/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Kyiv would consider participating in a Beijing-led peace conference with Russia's presence if the talks are based on the principles of the "U.N. Charter and international law," Ukraine's Ambassador to Singapore Kateryna Zelenko said in a media interview published on June 20.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Zelenko said that Ukraine "does not and has never seen China as its opponent" and wants to see it as "its friend."

Switzerland hosted Ukraine's global peace summit last week, but China was not among the more than 90 countries who accepted the invitation. Russia was not invited to attend.

Beijing decried Russia's absence and instead pitched an alternative peace process together with Brazil, suggesting hosting a summit recognized both by Kyiv and Moscow. China has claimed it has managed to rally a considerable international support behind its plan.

At the same time, Ukraine and Switzerland said they intend to continue their peace process and host a second summit, at which a Russian representative will be presented with a joint peace plan based on Kyiv's 10-point formula and proposals by other countries.

Despite the limited success in engaging the Global South, Zelenko said that the event was "a (diplomatic) success," adding that the "fact that the summit took place is a milestone in the entire peaceful process."

"All continents were represented from 100 delegations (of countries and organizations), this is a clear number of states sending a clear signal to Moscow that the world does not tolerate Russia's violation of international law."

Kyiv sought to engage China in the peace efforts despite Beijing's close ties with Moscow throughout the full-scale war. While declaring itself neutral and insisting it does not provide lethal aid to either side, China has been the leading source of dual-use goods fueling the Russian defense industry.

Ukraine’s peace summit falls short of engaging Global South — can Ukraine expand its coalition?
More than half of the signatories came from Europe. When counting other key Western allies outside of Europe – the U.S., Canada, and Australia – the disparity is even more stark.

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