Zelenskiy urges Joe Biden to attend peace summit in June

  • 29 May, 12:53

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has urged US leader Joe Biden to attend the upcoming peace summit in Switzerland, saying his top ally’s absence would send the wrong signal to Vladimir Putin.

“The peace summit needs President Biden and so do the other leaders who look at the reaction of the United States. Putin will only applaud his absence, personally applaud it - and standing, at that,” Zelenskiy said in Belgium on Tuesday where he secured a security pact worth €977 million that includes the delivery of much anticipated  F-16 fighter jets to his country.

Zelenskiy said he was also expecting a reply from China and Brazil over their participation in the summit.  Earlier, on Sunday Zelenskiy urged all world leaders to attend the peace summit organized upon his request to ensure “a just and lasting peace”.

“Please, show your leadership in advancing the peace - the real peace and not just a pause between the strikes,” Zelenskiy said in a video address in English. The summit is scheduled for 15-16 June and is expected to bring together 160 delegations from around the world, including G7, G20, the EU, the Council of Europe and the UN. Russia is not among the invited countries.

Although the complete agenda of the summit has not been published yet, Zelenskiy earlier revealed that safety of nuclear plants, and the return of abducted children, exchange of political prisoners should be the main topics of discussion during the high-profile event to be held near lake Lucerne.

Zelenskiy’s address follows Russia’s deadly missile attack on Ukraine’s second largest city Kharkiv over the weekend. At least 12 people were killed and dozens injured when Russian troops attacked a store in a residential district of Kharkiv.

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