Ukrainian officials vowed to continue the war against Russia until Moscow returns all of the occupied territory during a so-called peace summit in Davos, Switzerland ahead of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.
Switzerland hosted a meeting of 81 representatives from countries and international organisations in Davos on Sunday to discuss a formula “for a lasting and just peace in Ukraine”. American officials from the Biden administration attended the meeting, including U.S. special representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery Penny Pritzker and the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien, Reuters reports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is expected to address the globalist World Economic Forum meeting later in the week, was represented in the talks by Andriy Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine. There were no officials from the Kremlin in attendance.
Following the meeting, Yermak (pictured above, right) rejected the notion of a ceasefire between his country and Russia, claiming that it would only allow for Moscow to fortify its forces for another future attack on Ukraine.
“It’s definitely not the path to peace. The Russians do not want peace. They want domination. So, the choice is simple: either we lose and vanish – or win and live on. And we are fighting,” Yermak wrote on his personal Telegram channel.
“If international law and Ukraine’s territorial integrity are not restored, any aggressor anywhere in the world will be able to seize a piece of any country tomorrow and hold fake elections there. The peace that Ukraine seeks must guarantee its survival, integrity, sovereignty, and development. And it must prevent the recurrence of aggression. Together, we have created a comprehensive framework to achieve such peace. Its elements are closely interlinked, and this is the only way forward,” Yermak continued.
The Zelenksy advisor went on to hail the supposed success of Ukrainian forces over the past two years of war, saying that they have retaken 50 per cent of all territories seized by Russia since February of 2022.
However, while this claim may be technically true, the reality is that the vast amount of such territory was only held by Russia for days or weeks at the outset of the conflict, after which the conflict has remained mostly static, with Ukraine only managing to recapture tens of square miles compared to the tens of thousands of square miles still under Moscow’s control.
Despite Kyiv’s much-vaunted “Spring counteroffensive” failing to recapture any significant territory occupied by the heavily entrenched Russian forces last year, Zelensky’s government has maintained that it will not even consider entering into negotiations with the Kremlin until Russia withdraws and Ukraine’s 1991 borders are restored, meaning that Russia would have to retreat from its heavily entrenched positions in the Donbas as well as Crimea, which Vladimir Putin annexed and has controlled since 2014.
In his New Year’s address, Zelensky doubled down on this position, vowing that Ukraine will fight until “Crimea, Donbas, Luhansk region, Berdyansk, Melitopol, Mariupol” are liberated from Russian occupation.
Another key sticking point in any possible negotiations would be Ukraine’s continued aspirations to join the American-led NATO military alliance, which Moscow cited as a justification for launching its invasion two years ago, claiming that it would represent an existential threat to Russia. On Sunday, President Zelensky reiterated his intentions to join NATO.
Ahead of the talks in Davos, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova dismissed Zelensky’s proposed formula for peace as nothing more than a “set of ultimatums to Russia,” according to state news agency TASS.
“They are trying to compel us to retreat from the liberated areas and to leave the Russian people who voted for reunification with their homeland behind at the mercy of Ukrainian Nazis. They seek to take our country to a tribunal and to seize its legitimate assets in Western banks. Such ultimatums cannot lay the foundation for the start of negotiations,” she said.