Why The Ukraine Summit Was Doomed To Fail From The Very Beginning

Ujjwal Shrotryia

Jun 17, 2024, 04:06 PM | Updated 06:39 PM IST

The Russia-Ukraine war.
The Russia-Ukraine war.

The Ukraine peace summit held in Switzerland was doomed to fail from the very beginning.

The peace summit held from 15 to 16 June failed to develop consensus between the participating nations.

Of the 90 attending nations, the 80 nations that signed the draft were predominantly from the West with little to no agreement from African and East-Asian countries.

It is reported that India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Brazil (which was just observing the summit) did not agree to the draft prepared by Switzerland, that was supported by Ukraine and Western countries.

Logic dictates that in any peace summit or conference that is being organised to negotiate peace between two warring nations in a third neutral country, participation of both the nations (between which the war is going on) is mandatory.

Anything else, and the summit is doomed.

That is exactly what happened with this Ukraine peace summit. Russia, which is the primary nation involved in war with Ukraine, was not invited to the peace process.

Russia's absence made this a non-serious attempt by Switzerland in support of Ukraine with its NATO allies.

That led to Russian President Vladimir Putin taking a maximalist position as pre-conditions to halt the war. The demands include Ukraine wilfully vacating four regions where the fighting is still going on, ie, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson, and giving up its bid to join NATO, all of which were unpalatable for Ukraine.

The summit was used by Western nations as an echo chamber and a platform for virtue signalling and berating Russia.

Take, for instance, the stand taken by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on Russia. She warned that Russia will be forced to surrender if it does not agree to the terms of peace.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, on the other hand, said it was the right decision to not invite Russia to the summit.

The lack of seriousness was further validated when just months before the summit, US and France tacitly allowed Ukraine to hit Russian territory with donated lone-range ballistic and cruise missiles, viz, ATACMS of US and Scalp of France.

Until recently, all NATO nations were against this due to the risk of direct retaliation from Russia.

Both the US and France realised that the Russian war economy is unable to fulfil its own material requirements in the Ukraine theatre and had to go ask for supplies from Iran, North Korea, and China, therefore it is the right time to raise the stakes.

Since the Russians cannot afford to go to a shooting war with NATO, this escalation will not have a direct impact on France or the US.

The only options left for the Russians are nuclear signalling and show of force, like sending some of their nuclear assets very close to American shores. And this is exactly what the Russians did when they sent three ships to Cuba, including a nuclear attack submarine, Kazan, just 200 miles (360 kilometres) off the coast of Florida in southeastern US.

As long as the American or European mainland is safe from direct Russian retaliation, sending long-range strike weaponry to Ukraine is fair game, all while attempting to project the summit as a genuine attempt for peace, painting India and Saudi Arabia as the culprit, taking morally correct positions, and preaching moral lectures.

This was not a genuine attempt to give peace a chance but to echo and further own interests by Western powers.

Staff Writer at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.

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