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Global Leaders Convene in Switzerland to Forge a Path for Peace in Ukraine

June 13, 20242:00

At the Swiss Summit on Peace in Ukraine this weekend, nearly ninety countries, including many European leaders and US representatives, will gather to try and develop a consensus for lasting peace in Ukraine. President Zelensky will be advocating for his ten-point peace plan, which includes key goals like ensuring nuclear safety, addressing global food security, and enhancing energy security. William Pomeranz, Director of the Kennan Institute, provides insight into why the upcoming Summit is important, what Zelensky’s objectives are going into it, the reconstruction of Ukraine, and the impact of the most recent EU/US sanctions on the Russian economy.

Video Transcript

  • This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

    The upcoming summit is important because it is really the first attempt of multilateral negotiations dealing with the problems of Ukraine and this war. So no one has really been willing to take the step forward to, to organize negotiations. So this is, on the surface, is important in and of itself. 

    Zelensky put forward several objectives, including food aid, the return of hostages and several other things as well. But again, this is a moving target going forward. And despite Zelensky's objectives, there have been changes that are not favorable for Zelensky or Ukraine. To begin with, there is now a strong probability that the United States and the EU will use the assets that are in Western banks to help with the reconstruction of Ukraine. And this will cause tremendous problems going forward with any future negotiations, because essentially, Russia would have ask that that type of change get rolled back before any large scale negotiation takes place. 

    Second major development leading up to the summit is the new sanctions that have been imposed both by the US and by the EU, and these sanctions have had an immediate effect. Most notably, the Moscow Stock Exchange has decreased by about 15%, and the exchange will no longer be using dollars or euros in any transactions. So the Russian economy has also taken a big hit in the run up to this summit.


William E. Pomeranz

William E. Pomeranz

Director, Kennan Institute

William Pomeranz, the Director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, is an expert guide to the complexities of political and economic developments in Russia, particularly through the lens of law. He leverages extensive, hands-on experience in international and Russian jurisprudence to address a wide range of legal issues, from the development of Russia’s Constitution to human rights law to foreign investment and sanctions. He is also the author of Law and the Russian State: Russia's Legal Evolution from Peter the Great to Vladimir Putin (Bloomsbury, 2018).

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Kennan Institute

The Kennan Institute is the premier US center for advanced research on Eurasia and the oldest and largest regional program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The Kennan Institute is committed to improving American understanding of Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia, the South Caucasus, and the surrounding region though research and exchange.  Read more