President Von Der Leyen Speaks at Ukraine Peace Summit

European Commission

Dear President Zelensky, dear Volodymyr,

Thank you for organising this important conference. It is testament to the skills of the Swiss diplomacy that you were able to bring together some 100 countries and international organisations at the highest level, including the esteemed Presidents Akufo-Addo, Boric and Prime Minister Trudeau. This high-level attendance shows one thing: The world cares deeply about the war provoked by Russia's aggression. The war blatantly violates international law and key principles of the UN Charter. And it has major negative impacts on countries across the globe, be it in food security, access to energy or international trade. Time and time again, speakers yesterday and today emphasised this impact on their economies.

And so, it is highly significant and valuable that so many parties came to Switzerland to discuss a way out of the war. The Conference was entitled 'Path to Peace' and rightly so. Because we know that peace in Ukraine will not be achieved in one step. It will be a journey. It was not a peace negotiation. Because Putin is not serious about ending the war. He is insisting on capitulation. He is insisting on Ukraine ceding its territory, even territory that today is not occupied by him. He is insisting on disarming Ukraine, leaving it vulnerable to future aggression. No country would ever accept these outrageous terms. That is why it is vital that Ukraine is able to resist this aggression. That is its right under the UN Charter. And it is the right of other countries, such as the European Union and many other partners across the world to support Ukraine to resist and survive. The European Union has already provided almost EUR 100 billion in support to Ukraine and its people. And the G7 illustrated its steadfast determination only two days ago, when we agreed to use the revenue from frozen Russian assets in Europe to fund a USD 50 billion loan to Ukraine. This is also a clear message that we will stand by Ukraine for as long as it takes.

Our support and this peace Summit here bring real peace closer. The goal is a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. This would finally bring an end to the oppression and suffering of the Ukrainian people. This would reaffirm Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. This would restore the primacy of international law and the UN Charter.

The path to real peace requires patience and determination. And we have always said, dear Volodymyr, ultimately it will be for Ukraine to determine the conditions of a just peace. The European Union will support you in this, and it will continue to rally support across the globe. We can build on the UN General Assembly Resolution of February 2023. It clearly expressed the need for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace. This Resolution was approved by 141 countries, the vast majority of which joined this Summit. I call on Russia to heed the message of the international community; respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine; put an end to imperialist violence and bring back the children. When Russia says it is ready for peace, based on the UN Charter, then the time will come for Russia to be part of our efforts, to bring the path to peace to its destination. I hope and I work for this day to come soon.

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