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China Positioned for Peace: Ukraine’s Post-Davos Stance on Diplomacy

As global leaders gather for the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Ukraine’s top representative emphasized the importance of China’s involvement in talks to end the ongoing war with Russia. 

After a high-level diplomatic meeting, Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, expressed the necessity of having China at the table when discussing Kyiv’s peace formula.

Davos Diplomacy

Chinese Premier Li Qiang is set to lead a delegation in Davos, and the prospect of a meeting between him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remains uncertain. 

Yermak acknowledged the possibility but stated that the final agenda had not been confirmed. Meanwhile, Zelensky is expected to meet the President of the Swiss Confederation, Viola Amherd, upon his arrival in Bern.

Swiss Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, who participated in the discussions, highlighted the urgency of ending the conflict. 

He emphasized China’s significant role in the resolution and stressed the need to collaborate with China on this matter. Both Russia and Ukraine, he noted, seemed unwilling to make concessions.

The conflict, initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deployment of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, has led to the most significant confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Cassis pointed out that countries engaged in dialogue with Russia, including Brazil, India, and South Africa, were involved in the Davos discussions and could play a crucial role in the diplomatic efforts.

A European Union official revealed that Ukraine’s Western partners had expressed unequivocal support for Kyiv and its peace plans. There was also a call on Global South nations to emphasize to Russia the importance of respecting the United Nations charter and its core principles for global security.

The participation of Global South countries in Ukraine’s peace formula talks took center stage in the lead-up to Davos. 

Nations from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia, which had largely remained on the sidelines regarding Ukraine, will be represented in the Swiss mountain resort.

The EU official stated that Global South partners expressed empathy for Ukrainians, with some highlighting the need to address Russia’s concerns. Yermak noted that no one had raised the issue of compromising over territory during the recent meeting.

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China’s Crucial Role in Davos Diplomacy

As global leaders gather for the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, Ukraine’s top representative emphasized the importance of China’s involvement in talks to end the ongoing war with Russia.

Ukraine, backed strongly by its allies, has consistently asserted its commitment to reclaiming all territory taken by Russia. However, it remains unclear if countries in the Global South agree with this approach as a viable peace formula.

Nigeria’s national security adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, pledged support for Zelensky, acknowledging the challenges of rising food prices in the African oil-producing nation. 

The talks also saw the participation of the US special representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery, Penny Pritzker, and James O’Brien, the US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs.

As concerns grow about continued US support for the war in Ukraine, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are expected to address the WEF during an election year.

Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan, which includes the withdrawal of Russian troops, cessation of hostilities, and the restoration of Ukraine’s state borders with Russia, faces opposition from Moscow. 

Russia, controlling nearly a fifth of Ukrainian territory, has dismissed Zelensky’s peace formula as absurd, asserting the necessity of Moscow’s participation in any peace negotiations. 

The complex diplomatic landscape at Davos underscores the challenges in reaching a resolution to the conflict and the critical role that China could play in these efforts.

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