Without Russia, ‘Ukraine Peace Summits’ are a waste of time

Switzerland is set to host the Ukraine Peace Summit aimed at shoring up support for Kiev amidst intensely competing geopolitical interests. File Pic

Switzerland is set to host the Ukraine Peace Summit aimed at shoring up support for Kiev amidst intensely competing geopolitical interests. File Pic

Published May 26, 2024



In about three weeks, Switzerland will play host to the so-called Ukraine Peace Summit aimed at shoring up support for Kiev amid intensely competing geopolitical interests.

Soon after Russia’s Special Military Operation over two years ago, Western support for Ukraine was unprecedented.

From diplomatic cover to overt military support by the US-led NATO, with the EU in tow, Ukraine sat pretty under the guaranteed material support that US President Joe Biden promised, saying time and time again that it will remain “whatever it takes”.

US President Joe Biden has promised unwavering support to Ukraine. File Picture

It is a strategy many international relations analysts across the global south, coupled with some in the West, believe is littered with danger. Evidently, it gives peace little to no chance of prevailing.

The bottomless pit of US support to Kiev is tantamount to a public relations exercise aimed more at domestic politics outcomes.

In reality, given the uneven military capacity between Moscow and Kiev, the unabating war seems destined to continue until the last Ukrainian soldier leaves the battlefield in a body bag.

There has been a series of the “Ukraine Peace Summit” for a while now.

At every turn, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sits on the phone for hours on end personally inviting, and pleading with international heads of state to attend the summit.

I don’t blame him. He has become a public face of resistance against Russia’s Special Military Operation.

Additionally, he’s had to master pretty quickly the art of media and public relations, becoming an effective spokesperson of his country with immeasurable Western back-up.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has continued to plead with international heads of state to attend the summit: Washington Post photo by Demetrius Freeman.

In every summit, as is naturally the case with formal gatherings, the set agenda implies a series of adopted resolutions at the end of the meeting.

So far, one resolution that has been adopted and kept from previous Ukraine Peace Summits has been the agreement to meet again.

And there is no shortage of sponsors, as Switzerland shows with the imminent summit scheduled to take place from June 15 -16.

It is not yet clear how many heads of state are going to attend.

But Zelensky has been a busy-bee, mobilising support.

According to the Ukrainian news agency Interfax, Zelensky has, in recent days, managed to secure the attendance of the Presidents of Iraq, Iceland and Romania, among others.

Methinks the usual suspects from the West will show up in numbers, predictably. After all, the Ukraine war has become squarely theirs.

It is the US-led West’s proxy war against Russia.

Who said the Cold War was over? It is right in the open for all to see.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, basking in the glory of his recent election to serve a fifth term of office, continues to dazzle the Western powers with his sleek geopolitical moves.

He’s recently returned from a hugely successful state visit to China, where his host, President Xi Jinping, lauded their bilateral relations as of a “no-limit” in nature and form.

As the Biden administration relentlessly poured limitless resources in their mobilisation of the Western powers against Russia over the past two years – using Russophobia as a call to support the Kiev regime, Ukraine continues to suffer heavy losses in the battlefield.

Gradually, and systematically, the Russians advance into the Ukrainian territory inch by inch, taking over villages and towns and decimating whatever resistance they encounter.

The situation has become so desperate, nay, grave that the government of Ukraine has lowered the military intake from 27 years to 25.

In addition, passport controls have been tightened so that young Ukrainian men may no longer leave the country easily.

The Zelensky mantra is: “Your country needs you!”

But to compound matters for Kiev, the supply of promised high-calibre long-range missile are too slow to arrive, if they do at all. The early enthusiasm of the West for the war, and the appetite to supply arms, appear to be waning by the day.

The much-publicised flurry of Western volunteers who flocked to Ukraine to help the military against Russia has all but come to naught.

Many have been killed in the battlefield, and others, as the Americans would say, chose to “cut and run”.

As the going in the battlefield gets tougher by the day for Ukrainian soldiers, efforts to shore up public support across the West moves a gear up, as the pending summit in Switzerland shows.

The morale in the battlefield and at home is low, very low.

Conversely, the Russians are quietly going on about their Special Military Operation with the full backing of their allies, including China, North Korea and Iran.

The bulk of the global south also continues to do business with Russia, shunning Western calls to isolate Russia.

Finally, the global south, for many centuries suppressed colonies of the Western imperial powers, has awoken from its shell and taking a stance that reflects their independence of thought.

Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East refuse to be dragged in to the Western agenda against Russia, or anyone for that matter.

As for the summit in Switzerland, key BRICS nations have already indicated their unavailability.

With certainty, President Ramaphosa will be too busy with the post-election formation of a new administration. China and Brazil have also flatly turned down the Ukrainian courtship.

Previously, South Africa’s erudite Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco), Dr Naledi Pandor, raised a pertinent question that is yet to be answered by the powers behind the Ukraine Peace Summit series.

If the agenda is to discuss the possible ways to end the war in Ukraine, why leave out a key player in the war, Russia?

South Africa had said it saw no benefit in continuing to attend meetings whose resolutions will remain inconsequential as nothing could be achieved without the involvement, and engagement with Moscow.

Now, that is logic!

The summits will prove to be a waste of time and resources for as long as they are meant to serve to assure Kiev that “the West still has your back”.

Russia will not be defeated in the war, no matter how loud the experts of public relations raise their voice, with hugely embedded Western media in their corner. Russia has some of the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, and the existential threat that NATO’s expansion eastward poses will be met fiercely with unseen power.

Had NATO not been arrogant right at the beginning when Russia raised concerns about expansion to Moscow’s door-step, there would be no Special Military Operation.

But the arrogance and self-righteousness of the West to ridicule and laugh off Russia’s concerns has led to Ukraine’s fastest decline in population in their history.

Many neutrals the world over keep wondering, why is it that there is no talk of negotiations to end the war?

As for Zelensky, it is a great pity that he spews unacceptable statements such as, “there would be no negotiations as long as Putin is in the Kremlin”.

That is such a great pity. But then, Zelensky’s main objective is to drag the entire NATO into a war with Russia.

He doesn’t get it, though. NATO will diplomatically promise Kiev military support, but no boots on the ground. No one in their right mind in Washington or Brussels wants a nuclear WWIII that will destroy the entire universe.

My advice to Kiev is simple. If you page through history books, all wars end with a peace treaty. The war in Ukraine will be no different; I can bet my life on it. The question is, how many more men and women must die before peace can be given a chance?

It doesn’t matter how many more Ukraine Peace Summits can be sponsored, and held, as long as there are no direct talks with Russia everything is an exercise in futility.

Sometimes in life men must be man enough and recognise the need to save lives, and infrastructure, by sitting around the table and iron out differences. That is a trait leadership requires.

Zelensky’s gung-ho approach and boisterous public posture will prove to be a harmful miscalculation in the end.

Surely, he does not wish to fetch that last Ukrainian soldier in the battlefield before he agrees to enter into a negotiated truce with Russia?

*Makoe is Founder and Editor-in-Chief: Global South Media Network