Published 25/06/2023 19:52 | Edited 6/27/2023 10:11 AM
Senior officials and national security advisers from several major countries gathered in Copenhagen over the weekend with an agenda item: peace in Ukraine. However, the silence around the event seems to say that the result did not deserve to be reported. Special advisor and former Foreign Minister Celso Amorim represented Brazil and President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva at the meeting. The Americans ended up canceling participation.
The meeting took place on the same weekend that Ukraine had announced an unprecedented counter-offensive against Russia. It was also the day that the leader of the Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigojin, turned his coat and decided to march on Moscow, retreating on the same day in the face of the fury of Vladimir Putin.
A whole scenario set up to ensure a turnaround in international public opinion and bring the undecided to the side of Volodimir Zelensky, who was the one who took the initiative for the meeting. As Zelenskyi’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak confirmed, the meeting was about laying the groundwork for peace between Russia and Ukraine.
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“During the consultations, we once again informed our international partners in detail about President Zelensky’s peace plan,” Jermak wrote on Twitter on Sunday. A peace plan that would have conditions very different from those that are inscribed, if the defeat of Russia is confirmed.
Zelenskyy demands that Russia renounce all occupied lands. Not just the areas that have been conquered since Russia started the war in February 2022. Ukraine is also demanding the return of the Crimean peninsula, which Vladimir Putin occupied in 2014.
Today, Russia occupies about 20% of Ukraine. Putin can hardly leave empty-handed the war he has started and which must guarantee the continuity of his power and the survival of the regime.
At the end of the day, there is no longer any talk of the meeting in Copenhagen, nor of the powerful armed counter-offensive, which also did not give the expected results. Only in the melancholy exile of the Russian tycoon who betrayed the fatherland and ended up hiding in Belarus, while his soldiers left the battlefields.
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American national security adviser Jack Sullivan had to cancel shortly before the meeting because he had to accompany President Joe Biden to the Camp David military camp. Instead, he conducted the meeting over a video connection.
Silence in Copenhagen
For the photos, among others, participated Barbara Bertelsen, head of the Department of the Prime Minister of Denmark, and took place in Eigtveds Pakhus at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen.
Among others, the security policy correspondent of the Danish newspaper Berlingske, Simon Kruse, is behind the meager reports about the meeting, based on diplomatic sources.
“The meeting is an initiative of Ukraine. It has been confidential because it should serve as a preparation for a future summit with the participation of the heads of state and government of the countries”, says Simon Kruse.
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So it is on the battlefield that the battle is now being fought. But at the same time, very hard work is being done at the diplomatic level to get peace at some point, when and if the time is right. Here, according to Simon Kruse, it is worth highlighting which countries participated in the Copenhagen meeting.
“Among others, Brazil, India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia participated in the meeting. It is therefore a wider circle than Western countries that have expressed unequivocal support for Ukraine. China was also invited, but acted more as an observer’, says Simon Kruse.
With the exception of Brazil, the mentioned countries, unlike the NATO countries, did not express condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The countries are therefore important to Ukraine because they can help put pressure on Russia.
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Kruse also says it’s no coincidence that it happened to be Copenhagen: “Denmark has been a staunch supporter of Ukraine and it can also be an advantage that it’s taking place in a country that isn’t a great power,” says Simon Kruse.
It is not known what the meeting ended with. By the way, little was said in the event’s media, which would have another role if the turmoil in Russia went where it wanted in the rich West. Apparently, forgetting about the meeting is related to the apathy that must have dominated the event.
In a commentary on the meeting, the prime minister’s office writes on Sunday:
“Officials (national security advisers and political directors) from Ukraine, the G7+EU and a selected group of widely represented countries met in Copenhagen on 24 June. The purpose of the meeting was an exchange of views and a general discussion of a possible way forward for a peace process”. Full stop.
With information from Berlingske