Lucerne: Zelensky’s diplomatic challenge

By Nina Bachkatov

A “Peace Summit” in Ukraine will be held in Switzerland on June 15-16, following a request made by President Zelensky in January. The Ukrainian president expects participants to discuss the 10-point peace plan he presented to President Biden in December 2022, and subsequently to the G7, G20, and other international organisations, when the military situation was more favorable. Now, with the expectation that the war might extend to 2025 or beyond, this meeting poses a significant diplomatic challenge for Zelensky. He envisions a global pro-Ukrainian, anti-Russian bloc, including not only Western allies but also states that have so far maintained an ambiguous neutrality.

Read more on page 2

Ukraine better armed, with caveat

President Biden’s decision to allow Ukrainians to strike inside Russian territory using American munitions took everyone by surprise. This move followed US Secretary of State Blinken’s unexpected visit to Kyiv on May 14. Blinken was reportedly shocked by the situation on the ground as detailed by President Zelensky, including the rapid progression of Russian forces in the Kharkiv region and devastating attacks on Ukraine’s second-largest city. This is not only a human catastrophe but also a significant blow to Kharkiv, an industrial and research center crucial for the country’s future reconstruction. Moreover, the advance of Russian forces beyond the 2014 front line jeopardises the West’s goal of pressuring Moscow to negotiate from a position of weakness.

Continue reading on page 2