Philippines-Ukraine relations

Philippines confirms participation in Swiss peace summit on Ukraine

Dwight de Leon

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Philippines confirms participation in Swiss peace summit on Ukraine

HISTORIC VISIT. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Manila on June 3, 2024.

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(1st UPDATE) The Philippine government's participation will likely not sit well with Russia, which has called the upcoming event meaningless

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will take part in the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland on June 15 and 16, Malacañang confirmed on Monday, June 3, after a high-profile meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Manila.

Malacañang has yet to say if Marcos himself will fly to Europe for the conference or will send a high-level official on his behalf, but the Philippine government’s participation will likely not sit well with Russia, which is not invited to the peace summit and has called the event meaningless.

“We discussed the inaugural Global Peace Summit and the importance of Southeast Asian countries being represented there. I am pleased that the Philippines will participate in the summit,” Zelenskyy said in a tweet.

He later added in an interview with broadcast journalist Mariz Umali that Marcos himself committed to attend the event in person.

The meeting between Marcos and Zelenskyy, although high-profile, was mostly kept under wraps, with Malacañang only confirming the latter’s visit on Monday morning, when Ukrainian officials were already in the Palace.

Philippines confirms participation in Swiss peace summit on Ukraine

The Philippines, which has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is only the third Asian country that Zelenskyy has visited since the war broke out in February 2022.

It follows his visit to Singapore, where he accused Russia and China of trying to disrupt the peace summit on Ukraine later this month.

He made the statement during his surprise appearance at the Shangri-La Dialogue, dubbed Asia’s premier defense forum, which had Marcos as keynote speaker on its opening night.

Marcos and Zelenskyy failed to meet during that conference. Marcos had left Singapore by Friday night, May 31, while Zelenskyy only arrived in the city-state on Saturday evening, June 1.

Marcos, like Zelenskyy, took advantage of the event to criticize China over what he described as “illegal, coercive, aggressive, and deceptive actions” in the West Philippine Sea.

Zelenskyy subsequently called out China for allegedly trying to convince other countries not to take part in the upcoming peace summit.

China has declined to attend the summit, with Reuters previously reporting that Beijing’s conditions weren’t met, particularly that Russia must also recognize the conference.

Zelenskyy is hoping the peace summit would find solutions to issues on nuclear security, food security, and detention of war prisoners, among others.

Philippines confirms participation in Swiss peace summit on Ukraine

Ukraine has said 31,000 of its soldiers have been killed since the war broke out; Russia confirmed in September 2022 that the death toll among its soldiers was less than 6,000, but has not updated the figure since. Both countries are believed to have been understating the fatalities. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.