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Key Factors Behind Failure of Ukraine Peace Talks

The recent high-level meeting to discuss peace in Ukraine, held on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos, ended without a significant resolution. Representatives from 83 countries participated in the fourth and final meeting of national security advisers, but the talks failed to find common ground, leaving the conflict seemingly stuck in a grinding deadlock.


The Swiss Foreign Minister, Ignazio Cassis, noted that none of the warring parties, particularly Russia, showed willingness to make territorial concessions. This lack of flexibility on territorial issues remains a major obstacle to finding a resolution to the conflict.


Both China and Russia were conspicuously absent from the talks, despite calls for Beijing's participation due to its key role in supporting President Vladimir Putin's regime. The absence of these influential actors hindered the effectiveness of the discussions.


Ukraine, backed by its allies, has consistently stated that it will not give up until it reclaims every piece of territory taken by Russia. President Zelensky's 10-point peace plan, including the return to 1991 borders and the inclusion of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, sets goals that Russia has consistently rejected as absurd.


Despite the large gathering of representatives, including those from the Global South, no agreements were reached on crucial issues during the meeting. The failure to secure an agreement on holding a leader-level meeting to advance the peace talks and build backing for Ukraine's peace plan underscores the lack of progress.


Russia, not invited to the meeting, rejected the terms proposed by Ukraine and stated that it is absurd to discuss peace without Moscow's participation. This rejection further highlights the deep divisions between the warring parties.


The timing of the peace talks coincided with the World Economic Forum in Davos, where geopolitical distractions, especially in the Middle East, may have diverted attention from the Ukrainian conflict. This could have impacted the level of engagement and commitment from key stakeholders.


The failure of the Ukraine peace talks can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the lack of territorial concessions, the absence of key players, unrealistic peace plan goals, and the rejection of talks without Russia's participation.


The challenges in modulating the peace formula and overarching geopolitical distractions further complicated the negotiation process. As the conflict continues, finding a resolution remains a daunting task, and renewed diplomatic efforts will be crucial to breaking the deadlock.


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