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Zelensky Pitches Ukraine ‘Peace' Conference to Asia-Pacific Defense Chiefs

© AP Photo / Vincent ThianUkraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, center, arrives at the Shangri-La Hotel, the venue of the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue summit, in Singapore, Saturday, June 1, 2024.
Ukraine’s  Volodymyr Zelensky, center, arrives at the Shangri-La Hotel, the venue of the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue summit, in Singapore, Saturday, June 1, 2024. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.06.2024
Reports have indicated "paranoia" inside Volodymyr Zelensky's office regarding the upcoming Swiss-hosted “peace conference” on Ukraine as the list of non-attendees will likely include Joe Biden. China confirmed it won't take part, as the summit does not meet its expectations. Russia was not invited to what it called a "meaningless" event.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky got the begging bowl out again on Saturday as he arrived in Singapore on a surprise visit. This time around, his soliciting is aimed at Asia-Pacific leaders gathered for their premier defense summit.
The Shangri-La Dialogue gathering, held from May 31 until June 2, is organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). With 45 countries in attendance, including US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin and Chinese Minister of National Defense Admiral Dong Jun, it's no wonder Ukraine’s by now "illegitimate" president made a bee-line for the event.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry's building in Beijing - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.05.2024
Swiss Conference on Ukraine Differs From China's Demands, World Expectations - Beijing
Zelensky descended upon Singapore as the Kiev regime’s forces are scrambling to fend off a steady advance by the Russian military, especially near Kharkov. At the same time, the Ukrainian leader's much-touted so-called “peace conference” hosted by Switzerland has failed to draw critically important attendees like US President Joe Biden and China’s leader Xi Jinping, let alone Russia.
With his Defense Minister Rustem Umerov in tow, Zelensky held talks with Lloyd Austin on Sunday on the sidelines of the conference. The US defense chief "reaffirmed the US commitment to maintaining the strong support" during the meeting, a Pentagon official was cited by media as saying.
Zelensky boasted on the X social media platform of having met with Singapore’s President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Indonesia's President-elect Prabowo Subianto, Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta, and a US congressional delegation. He said Ramos-Horta had agreed to attend the peace summit.
China, however, remains adamant. In an address to delegates on Sunday, Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun said his country has been “promoting peace talks with a responsible attitude."
"We have never provided weapons to either party of the conflict. We have put strict controls on exports of dual-use items, and have never done anything to fan the flames. We stand firmly on the side of peace and dialogue," he said.
Earlier, China explained why it would not partake in the event:
"There is a clear discrepancy between the conference agenda, China's demands and the general expectations of the international community, making it difficult for China to participate in this meeting," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told reporters on Friday.
China's demands for a peace conference that is fair and impartial and not directed against any party are reflected in the consensus on a political solution to the Ukraine crisis recently released jointly with Brazil, and they express general concerns of the international community, especially developing countries, the diplomat said, adding that such a conference could be recognized by both Moscow and Kiev.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky arrives to attend a meeting with US Secretary of State in Kiev on May 14, 2024. - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.05.2024
Ukraine Сonference Will Be ‘Propaganda Exercise' to Cover Up Zelensky's Illegitimacy – Analyst
Moscow earlier said that the June 15-16 summit was conceived as another effort to "push through Zelensky’s unworkable 'peace formula' that ignores Russian interests." It added that the gathering will be "absolutely futile" without Russia’s participation.
Furthermore, the summit comes after the US, UK, and other NATO allies lifted formal restrictions limiting Ukraine’s use of Western-provided long-range missiles on attacking targets inside Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned NATO nations that they should realize "what they are playing with" when enabling Ukraine to strike inside Russia.
Airmen with the 436th Aerial Port Squadron use a forklift to move 155 mm shells ultimately bound for Ukraine, Friday, April 29, 2022, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.06.2024
Biden Letting Ukraine Strike Russia Risks Moving From Proxy to Real War - Ex-US Diplomat
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