Vitaly Portnikov: China and Russia aim to distort Peace Summit

May 22,2024 345
Vitaly Portnikov: China and Russia aim to distort Peace Summit

Russia and China are not so much trying to disrupt the Peace Summit in Switzerland this June as they are attempting to change its agenda, demonstrate that alternative peace plans exist, and reduce the idea of ending the war to a mere ceasefire, according to Vitaly Portnikov, a renowned Ukrainian journalist and recipient of the Shevchenko Prize, as reported by Radio Liberty.

“Such phrasing could create an image of China as a mediator in the conflict, and for Russia, an image of a ‘peace-loving country.’ However, for Ukraine, it guarantees neither peace nor security,” the famed journalist writes.

Simultaneously, this strategy could act as a stimulus for Global South nations. The Summit in Switzerland specifically targets their involvement since Western leaders have already endorsed the Ukrainian approach without the need for such gatherings.

“It is symbolic that on the very day of Putin’s visit to Harbin, the presidents of South Africa and Brazil, Cyril Ramaphosa and Lula da Silva, two long-time friends of Russia and China, declined the invitation to the Summit,” Portnikov continues.

Portnikov concludes that Moscow and Beijing primarily aim to diminish attendance, persuade others of the inappropriateness of participating, decrease participant numbers, and foster a competition of peace plans at the Summit, leading to adopting a “toothless” resolution.

“Because in such a case, China – now on behalf of many countries of the ‘Global South’ – can remind everyone that the West has failed in its peacekeeping mission and that there are no alternatives to Russian-Ukrainian negotiations (under Chinese auspices?). And it is precisely for this reason that Putin and Xi Jinping are making significant efforts not so much to disrupt the Swiss Peace Summit, but to change its content and prospects,” the text states.

Read the full text of the column at the link.

Cover: Getty Images

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