Ukraine Peace Plan Summit Eyes Minimal Goals to Woo Skeptical Global South | World News - Hindustan Times
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Ukraine Peace Plan Summit Eyes Minimal Goals to Woo Skeptical Global South

Bloomberg |
May 15, 2024 09:37 AM IST

Diplomats are focusing on a narrow set of goals in preparation for a summit on Ukraine’s peace plan in Switzerland next month to ensure China and other nations of the so-called Global South attend the meeting.

Diplomats are focusing on a narrow set of goals in preparation for a summit on Ukraine’s peace plan in Switzerland next month to ensure China and other nations of the so-called Global South attend the meeting. 

Ukraine Peace Plan Summit Eyes Minimal Goals to Woo Skeptical Global South
Ukraine Peace Plan Summit Eyes Minimal Goals to Woo Skeptical Global South

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz set the scene for the gathering on Tuesday, when he told Stern magazine that the talks are going to touch on the safety of nuclear power plants, grain exports, prisoner exchanges and what he described as the “necessary taboo on the use of nuclear weapons.”

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“Nobody should have exaggerated expectations,” Scholz said in an interview published on Tuesday. “We are not negotiating the end of the war there.”

Even so, it’s uncertain whether the outreach effort will be successful. More than 160 countries have been invited to discuss Ukraine’s conditions for a settlement with Russia at a mountain resort near Lucerne, Switzerland, on June 15-16. But the level of attendance beyond Ukraine’s western allies isn’t clear.

To secure broader support, Germany and other allies of Ukraine are engaging diplomats in the Global South on a possible text focused on key United Nations principles, and other basic issues such as returning deported children to Ukraine, prisoners’ exchanges and nuclear and food security, according to people familiar with the discussions. 

These points, however, fall short of Ukraine’s blueprint for peace, which calls for respecting the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, the withdrawal of Russian troops as well as guarantees over its future security.

China’s presence, in particular, is seen as important for the success of the gathering, given the influence diplomats say Beijing has on Moscow more than two years into the war.

Read more: Scholz Asks Xi to Exert Pressure on Putin to End ‘Insane’ War

Group of Seven nations and the European Union are intensifying efforts to secure the participation of countries from Brazil to South Africa to Indonesia. Italy, in particular, has been asked to convince Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to support the initiative, the people said, while Japan is talking to Brazil. They declined to be named because the talks are private. 

Beijing and other major Global South nations have been pushing to involve Russia in the process. Ukraine and its allies believe that can happen only once a framework of the key principles of any peace settlement have been established, with early suggestions that such a meeting could take place in the Gulf. Switzerland hasn’t invited Russia to the conference.

Still, one of the key objectives of the summit is to discuss how Russia can be involved in an actual peace process going forward, one of the people said. 

The Lucerne conference has been preceded by several rounds of lower level meetings. At the last such gathering, which took place in Doha in late April, national security advisers and senior officials failed to make much progress and raised doubts that a consensus can be achieved on anything but a very narrow agenda, the people said.

The conference will be among the topics when Scholz meets Swiss President Viola Amherd in Berlin on Wednesday. Scholz is one of the few leaders from the world’s major economies that so far confirmed his participation at the Swiss summit, together with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Polish President Andrzej Duda.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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