International Peace Conference on Ukraine Opens in Switzerland

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jun.15 - 2024 11:31 AM CET

Photo: Paparazzza /
Photo: Paparazzza /
The United States is represented by Vice President Kamala Harris.

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An international conference focused on establishing peace in Ukraine, organized at the request of Kyiv, opened on Saturday, June 15, in Burgenstock, Switzerland.

The conference aims to discuss the initial steps toward negotiating an end to the conflict initiated by Russia. Heads of state, government leaders, and high-ranking representatives from around 100 countries, as well as international organizations, are expected to attend. Notably, Russia was not invited.

Key Issues on the Agenda

The attendees will tackle a range of issues, including Ukrainian grain exports, the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occupied by Russian forces, and various humanitarian concerns, such as prisoner exchanges according to Ziare.

The United States is represented by Vice President Kamala Harris.

Numerous European leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, are also participating. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will be present, arriving directly from the G7 meeting in southern Italy, which largely focused on the Ukraine conflict.

Russia’s Stance and the Path Forward

Currently, Russia occupies about one-fifth of Ukraine's territory, including the Crimean Peninsula, which it illegally annexed in 2014.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded that Ukraine relinquish control over the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia regions, and Crimea as a condition for ending the war. Kyiv has outright rejected this demand as absurd. T

he conference, spanning Saturday and Sunday, primarily aims to mobilize international support for Ukraine, including from countries allied with Russia.

Attendance and Future Plans

While China, President Putin’s most significant ally, is not participating, other influential Russian allies such as India and South Africa will be present, though not at a ministerial level. Brazil is attending as an observer.

Switzerland hopes to host another conference later this year that would include Moscow, seeking a comprehensive dialogue to address the large-scale invasion Russia initiated in February 2022.

This peace conference marks a crucial step in gathering global support for Ukraine and addressing the ongoing conflict through diplomatic channels.