Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during a joint press conference with Lithuania’s President (not in picture) in Vilnius, Lithuania, on January 10, 2024.
Petras Malukas | Afp | Getty Images
Ukraine pushed ahead with its peace formula to end nearly two years of war with Russia with a meeting of national security advisers from around the world in Davos on Sunday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is scheduled to address the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos later in the week, was not in the opening morning session, which included 81 participants from countries and international organizations.
Zelenskiy was represented by his chief of staff Andriy Yermak at Sunday’s talks, which were also attended by the U.S. special representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery Penny Pritzker, as well as James O’Brien, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
As concerns grow about ongoing U.S. support for the war in Ukraine during an election year, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are both expected to address the WEF, which officially starts on Monday evening.
Switzerland, which hosted the NSA representatives, said the Ukraine peace talks aimed to finalise principles “for a lasting and just peace in Ukraine” at the level of national security advisers. The principles, it said in a statement last week, should form the basis for the next stages of the peace process.
The role of the Global South in Ukraine’s peace formula talks has come into focus in Davos. Many of the non-aligned countries from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia that have largely stayed on the sidelines over Ukraine will be represented in the Swiss mountain resort this week.
Nigeria’s national security adviser Nuhu Ribadu could be seen attending the NSA meeting. Yermak said that there were participants from 18 Asian countries, 12 African countries and 6 South American countries.
“Countries from the Global South are increasingly involved in our work,” Yermak said on his Telegram account.
Ukraine, with strong backing from its allies, has consistently said it will not give up until it has reclaimed every piece of territory that Russia has taken.
It is unclear, however, if countries in the Global South agree with that as a peace formula.