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Zelensky’s Sham Summit in Switzerland Slammed as ‘Pep Rally’, ‘PR Stunt’

© AP Photo / Ukrainian Presidential Press OfficeUkraine's Zelensky
Ukraine's Zelensky  - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.06.2024
One analyst portrayed the event as an act of desperation on the part of the embattled leader as Ukraine suffers the consequences of the West’s failed foreign policy.
“The security of a country should not be pursued at the expense of others,” read a Chinese government statement last year on the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia. “The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly.”
The document, which urged global powers to abandon a “Cold War mentality,” did not mention NATO by name, but its critique of the Western alliance’s steady march eastward was unmistakable.
Now as the ultimate failure of the United States’ proxy war against Russia is made clear, the West is suffering the consequences of its decades-long disregard for Russian security and interests, according to former US Defense Department senior security policy analyst Michael Maloof. The expert discussed the issue and Zelensky’s so-called "peace summit" scheduled for later this month on Sputnik’s The Final Countdown program Monday.
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“China certainly has announced that it's not even coming,” said the author about the event. “Russia wasn't even invited… All that this is to me is a pep rally, a PR stunt by Zelensky to garner support. This is not diplomacy.”
“Diplomacy occurs when you get two opposite sides sitting down at the same table and working something out, working out a compromise,” he claimed. “They had that. This is all being ignored.”
Zelensky released a slickly-produced video last week urging the US and Chinese President Xi Jinping to participate in the purported peace talks, set to be held at a luxury resort in Switzerland. Zelensky now accuses China of supporting Russia and attempting to “undermine” the meeting, echoing recent attacks by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Various observers have criticized the event for failing to include representatives from Russia. Ukrainian officials are legally prevented from engaging in talks with the country per a late 2022 edict by Zelensky that outlaws negotiations with Russia.
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“What's being ignored are the underlying causes. There was an agreement and it was signed,” said Maloof of widely-reported talks between Ukraine and Russia that took place during the early months of Russia’s special military operation. “It was just under pressure from the UK and the US on Zelensky not to implement. And there was a reason for Putin's undertaking his special military operation, because Ukraine was threatening to join NATO and he could not have that.”
“What was ignored was six existing agreements on indivisibility. What that meant is that you don't arm the West at the expense of the East. They were all torn up by the West through NATO expansion… All of that has been ignored.”
The analyst claimed the proposed summit is a desperate attempt to garner international support as reports suggest Ukraine’s strained armed forces are nearing collapse. Continued support from the United States has also been placed in doubt as polling reveals the US public increasingly opposes sending more aid to Kiev.
Maloof noted that Zelensky would likely be denied an audience before a joint session of US Congress as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle now question US involvement in the proxy conflict.
“He's at his limit,” the expert claimed. “He knows that he's finished. He knows the war is basically over, and he's trying to get more of a popularity type of thing going and people aren't buying into it… Russia's stated over and over again they're prepared to sit down with the Ukrainians to work something out. And Zelensky has said he will not do it.”
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“I have never seen anything that Zelensky has done as logical,” he added. “This is a comedian who, all of a sudden, gets elevated to the position of the president of his country on the promise that he was not going to go to war with Russia. And look where he is now.”
“This clown has just absolutely become authoritarian,” Maloof said of the de facto leader, who has been heavily criticized for shutting down independent media outlets and banning opposition parties. “He's defied every aspect of why we're even in there in the first place. ‘Oh, we're trying to defend democracy and all that stuff.’ That's just total nonsense, particularly given how this current government came about in 2014 through a coup of a legitimate government – and we backed it. We supported it and we basically initiated it.”
The analyst claimed the US and UK have “no one to blame but ourselves” for stoking the military conflict, which has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.
Maloof clarified that the violence began not when Russia’s special military operation was launched, but in 2014 when the Ukrainian government attacked ethnic Russian separatists in the country’s eastern regions. Conflict in the Donbass, including events such as a deadly attack on trade unionists in Odessa, was rarely discussed in the West.
“What most Americans don't realize is that that shelling of the East has been going on for nine years now, and the Western media never reported it,” he said. “And they finally called in for Russian assistance, and that's what led to where this happened.”
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“Putin warned about NATO extensions, about how this is crossing a red line,” he continued. “And even in December of 2021 he was sending memorandums to the State Department outlining his concerns. And they were ignored… The Russian diplomats were talked down to. They really resented that. And I don't blame them because they regard themselves as an equal power.”
“Look, they have more nuclear weapons than we do, for heaven's sake. They've got hypersonic weapons that we don't even have. Yet we treat them like a second-class power. And they really resented that. We didn't respect them. And that's what you need in diplomacy, is respect.”
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