The Ukrainian ambassador to Britain has expressed hope that an envisaged peace summit in July will expand Kyiv's international engagement and encourage a review of existing global peacekeeping mechanisms, such as the United Nations.
Vadym Prystaiko, who has held various positions including foreign minister in Volodymyr Zelenskyy's government, spoke to Kyodo News during a recent interview following the Group of Seven industrialized nations' summit in Hiroshima, where plans for Zelenskyy's proposed peace summit were discussed.
Zelenskyy has called for a Peace Formula summit in July that would focus on issues such as peace-building in Ukraine at a time marking five hundred days since Russia's invasion began in February 2022. Denmark has offered to host the summit in Copenhagen, according to the ambassador.
Prystaiko said the current crisis in Ukraine should encourage not just economically powerful nations like the G-7 members but the whole international community to "revisit existing mechanisms" that are aimed at preventing conflicts and building peace.
In particular, he cited Russia's status as one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council as a pressing issue.
"We cannot rely on the decision of one of the P5 nations, especially when one of them is actually the perpetrator," he said.
According to Prystaiko, widening participation in the envisioned peace summit to include African and Latin American nations is especially important in raising awareness of "the idea of humankind over national differences."
Recent visits by Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to African and Latin American nations have established the basis for their participation in the peace summit, he said.
Among the G-7 nations sending arms to Ukraine, Prystaiko said France has "already committed" to providing SCALP cruise missiles, the same model as the Storm Shadow system recently provided by Britain.
Prystaiko said Britain's support since the very beginning of the war has been crucial. Britain was the first nation to send anti-tank and anti-air missiles to Ukraine after the invasion, paving the way for allies like the United States and European Union members to provide military training and equipment.
With Germany also considering sending these weapons to Ukraine, Prystaiko said the plans would secure hundreds of long-range missiles capable of reaching territory occupied by Russia.
On the possibility of Japan exporting lethal weapons to Ukraine, the envoy voiced hope that Tokyo will discuss the issue more, citing Norway as a nation initially reluctant to export arms which has now provided them. Japan's exports of weapons and defense equipment are strictly limited under the war-renouncing Constitution.
In the meantime, Prystaiko said the provision of funds, medical equipment and technology to help Ukraine withstand the war is how Japan can offer practical support.
"If we manage to push the aggressor back, all other aggressors in the world, and those close to Japan, will get the message. This is the right time for Japan to invest in its future defense and security," Prystaiko said.