The international community gathered in Switzerland Sunday for the first Ukraine Peace Summit.

Dozens of countries meeting for a landmark international summit on peace in Ukraine agreed Sunday that Kyiv should enter dialogue with Russia on ending the war, while strongly supporting Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity.

Leaders and top officials from more than 90 states spent the weekend at a Swiss mountainside resort for a two-day summit dedicated to resolving the largest European conflict since World War II.

“We believe that reaching peace requires the involvement of and dialogue between all parties,” stated a final communique, supported by the vast majority of the countries that attended the summit at the Burgenstock complex overlooking Lake Lucerne.

The document also reaffirmed a commitment to the “territorial integrity of all states, including Ukraine”.

The declaration also urged a full exchange of prisoners of war and the return of deported children.

But not all attendees backed the document, with India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates among those not included in a list of supporting states displayed on screens at the summit.

After world leaders stood together to offer their support on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky voiced hope of garnering international agreement around a proposal to end the war that he could eventually present to Moscow.

Kremlin reiterates Putin call

The summit focused Sunday on food security, avoiding a nuclear disaster and returning deported children as countries outlined building blocks towards ending the war.

The summit, snubbed by Russia and its ally China, came at a point when Ukraine is struggling on the battlefield.

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded Kyiv’s effective surrender as a basis for peace talks.

Putin’s call for Ukraine to withdraw from the south and east of the country were widely dismissed at the summit.

But the Kremlin insisted Sunday that Ukraine should “reflect” on Putin’s demands, citing the military situation on the ground.

Russia on Sunday claimed its troops had captured Zagrine village in southern Ukraine, continuing its progress on the front line.

Children, nuclear fears

The Burgenstock talks were framed around areas of common ground between Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan presented in late 2022, and UN resolutions on the war that passed with widespread support.

Countries split into three working groups on Sunday looking at nuclear safety and security, humanitarian issues, and food security and freedom of navigation on the Black Sea.

The session on humanitarian aspects focused on issues around prisoners of war, civil detainees, internees and the fate of missing persons.

Talks on food security examined the slump in agricultural production and exports, which has had a ripple effect across the world as Ukraine was one of the world’s breadbaskets before the war.

The nuclear safety group looked at the fragile situation surrounding the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, notably Zaporizhzhia, where all of the reactors have been shut down since mid-April.

“When a just and sustainable peace comes, we will all be there to help Ukraine rebuild,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in the final address from invited leaders.

Second summit

Minds also turned to a potential second summit, at which Ukraine wants to present Russia with an internationally-agreed plan for peace.

Swiss President Viola Amherd said in her closing remarks: “One key question remains: how and when can Russia be included in the process?

Zelensky did not say whether he was prepared to engage with Putin directly in talks to end the conflict, though he has in the past ruled out direct talks with him.

“Russia should join this process because Russia is responsible for the starting of the process that’s called the war,” Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili told reporters.

With AFP