Key points from Ukraine summit joint communique

AFP , Sunday 16 Jun 2024

Dozens of countries agreed Sunday dialogue "between all parties" and respect for Ukraine's territorial integrity as a route to ending the war between Kyiv and Moscow.

Summit on peace in Ukraine
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (L), Swiss Federal President Viola Amherd, Ukraine s President Volodymyr Zelensky, Chile s President Gabriel Boric and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau address the closing press conference of the Summit on peace in Ukraine, at the luxury Burgenstock resort, near Lucerne, on June 16, 2024.AFP


The vast majority of the more than 90 countries taking part in a summit in Switzerland supported a final communique that also urged the return of deported Ukrainian children and a full exchange of captured soldiers.

However, the document was not endorsed by some countries that maintain close ties with Russia, like India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Here are the key points from the document:

Russia's war 

Russia is blamed for unleashing the war on Ukraine and the document noted the devastation the invasion had wrought as it called for a "comprehensive" peace settlement.

"The ongoing war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine continues to cause large-scale human suffering and destruction, and to create risks and crises with global repercussions," the document said.

'Territorial integrity' 

The countries said they "reaffirm our commitment to... the principles of sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all states, including Ukraine, within their internationally recognized borders."

Russia currently controls just under a fifth of Ukraine, including the Crimean peninsula it annexed in 2014.

Release of children, prisoners 

There was also a call for the full exchange of captured soldiers and for all Ukrainian children deported to Russia and Russian-controlled territory to be returned home.

Kyiv has accused Moscow of illegally abducting almost 20,000 children since the start of the conflict, the Kremlin says it moved them for their protection.

"All prisoners of war must be released by complete exchange," the document stated.

"All deported and unlawfully displaced Ukrainian children, and all other Ukrainian civilians who were unlawfully detained, must be returned to Ukraine," it added.

Nuclear safety 

The summit called for Ukraine to have "full sovereign control" of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest atomic energy site that is currently controlled by Russian forces.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly warned of the risk of a major nuclear disaster at the facility, controlled by Russian forces since the start of the war.

"Ukrainian nuclear power plants and installations, including Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, must operate safely and securely under full sovereign control of Ukraine," the final communique stated.

The countries also expressed concern over the possibility the conflict could turn nuclear, condemning the possibility of nuclear weapons being used.

"Any threat or use of nuclear weapons in the context of the ongoing war against Ukraine is inadmissible," the document stated.

Food security 

The communique said on food and agricultural trade issues: "Food security must not be weaponized in any way. Ukrainian agricultural products should be securely and freely provided to interested third countries."

Ukraine is one of the world's major agricultural producers and exporters, but Russia's invasion has complicated its exports through the Black Sea, which has become a battle zone.

"Free, full, and safe commercial navigation, as well as access to sea ports in the Black and Azov Seas, are critical," the final document stated.

It added: "Attacks on merchant ships in ports and along the entire route, as well as against civilian ports and civilian port infrastructure, are unacceptable."

'All parties' 

The document also suggested future talks on a framework for peace would need to include Russia.

"We believe that reaching peace requires the involvement of and dialogue between all parties," the joint declaration stated.

It said the summit's attendees had "decided to undertake concrete steps in the future in the areas mentioned above with further engagement of the representatives of all parties".

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