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IPFS News Link • Switzerland

The Switzerland Summit: Peace Through Delusion

•, by Brad Pearce

Nothing could provide a clearer example of their clownish nature than the recent "Peace Conference" in Switzerland where Russia was not invited, China did not attend, and meaningful negotiation with Russia was taken off the table before it began.

Ukraine's now-illegitimate President Volodymyr Zelensky continues in his maximalist war aims of insisting that Ukraine return to its 1991 borders even though that no one believes Russia will give up Crimea under any circumstances, or for that matter that any substantial portion of Crimea's population wants to be part of Ukraine. Shortly before the Summit, Putin offered a straightforward peace proposal: concede the four territories which Russia has claimed, pledge to not join NATO, and ban Nazi activities within the country. In a feat of particular absurdity, Netherlands' leader Mark Rutte said that this "silly" offer where Putin demands Ukraine concede all dispute territories is a sign of "panic." In Rutte's fever dream it is somehow a sign of panic to offer peace in return for all the land that is being fought over. Meanwhile, Zelensky continues to says that peace talks can "start tomorrow if Russia leaves Ukraine" and thus there would be nothing to negotiate but reparations and how long Putin will stay in the Hague. If the war continues on its trajectory Russia will most likely capture the disputed territories, while on Ukraine's side we are dealing with "leaders" who believe in a policy that can only be called "Peace Through Delusion."

There has been much discourse about this absurd conference, however it is best to see what the endangered species known as "newspaper readers" would be told of this august event. Indeed, one Associated Press article from June 16 titled, "78 countries at Swiss conference agree Ukraine's territorial integrity must be basis of any peace" provides an unintentionally humorous look at this unserious and pointless meeting. The article notes in the first paragraph that "the way forward for diplomacy remains unclear," but touts the "joint communique" which some participants signed. Looking over that document, which was the only result of this conference, one finds boilerplate language about territorial integrity and then three more items about the security of nuclear power plants, freedom of navigation as it relates to grain exports, and condemnation of Russia's decision to care for children it has found unattended in the war zone. Just how little they accomplished, combined with the fact that Russia was not at all involved in the peace negotiation, makes it laughable that what are supposedly the world's most powerful governments sent their top leaders to this farce.

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