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High-Stakes Ukraine Summit Underway in Swiss Resort

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This weekend, the idyllic Swiss resort above Lake Lucerne is playing host to an unprecedented gathering, as leaders from more than 90 countries and global institutions descend on Bürgenstock. The summit aims to tackle the fundamental principles necessary to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, which has been ongoing for 28 months since Russia’s invasion. Despite being the largest assembly for Ukraine since the invasion, expectations for significant progress are tempered due to the absence of key players like China and a new ultimatum from Russian President Vladimir Putin, demanding Ukraine’s capitulation.

The absence of an invitation to Russia has prompted positive sentiments in Ukraine, with politicians in Kyiv interpreting the summit as a display of worldwide support for Ukraine’s cause and international law. However, the recent offensive by Russia near Kharkiv and intensified missile attacks across Ukraine have underscored the challenging circumstances underpinning the summit.

The summit’s primary objective is to establish a political and legal framework for future peace, aligning with Ukrainian President Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan. However, the current unfavorable dynamics on the battlefield and the wavering international support cast doubt on the feasibility of achieving Ukraine’s vision for an acceptable outcome, according to experts. This underscores the immense challenges and complexities of the summit.

The absence of high-profile leaders like U.S. President Joe Biden and limited participation from countries in the “Global South” has cast a shadow over the summit. Additionally, Russia’s efforts to discredit the event and sway allies to boycott it have added to the challenges. The summit’s agenda, which hones in on less contentious issues such as nuclear security, global food supply, and repatriation of Ukrainian prisoners, reflects the formidable task of brokering peace in the current geopolitical climate.

At its core, the summit is a testament to the intricate network of alliances and geopolitical tensions that continue to obstruct the path to a lasting resolution. The contrast between diplomatic efforts and the harsh reality on the ground in Ukraine highlights the enormity of the challenges faced by all parties involved, and the far-reaching implications of the summit in the global political landscape.

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