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Zelenskyy’s peace plan: 10 essential points

All wars come to an end, and so will Russia’s war against Ukraine and Ukrainians. On October 11, 2022, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced to the leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries a “peace formula” to overcome the Russian threat. Today, this 10-point plan remains the only way to restore just and long-lasting peace for Ukraine. 

1. Radiation and nuclear safety

No one has the right to blackmail the world with a radioactive disaster. And Russia is not an exemption. But it tries to be, with the constant attempts to rattle its nuclear arsenal. This nuclear blackmail has to stop.

Russia is also constantly endangering Ukrainian nuclear power plants, temporarily occupying the Zaporizhzhia NPP in particular. Russia must immediately withdraw all its militants from its territory. The station must be immediately transferred to the control of the IAEA and the Ukrainian personnel. The normal connection of the station to the power grid must be restored immediately so that nothing threatens the stability of the reactors.

A Russian soldier near the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia NPP.
Photo: Serhii Ilnitskyi / EPA

2. Food security

Once again, people’s lives and well-being should not be a part of Russia’s blackmail or famine games. In a year of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, Ukraine was able to export 32.8 million tons of food to countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Now, with Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement, people will suffer the consequences. 

The grain initiative and Ukrainian agricultural export must be restored for the sake of millions around the world.

3. Energy security

Attacks on critical civilian infrastructure are unacceptable. As Russia is trying to turn cold into a weapon against civilians, Ukrainian power plants, power lines, and other energy infrastructure has to be properly protected.

A power transformer at a compound of a power substation damaged by a Russian military strike in the Kherson region. March 23, 2023.

Photo: Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Handout via REUTERS

The fundamental steps – like price restrictions on Russian energy resources – should be introduced to ensure that energy resources are no longer used as weapons. 

4. Release of all prisoners and deportees

Today, thousands of Ukrainian people, both military and civilians, are in Russian captivity. Many have been forcefully deported, including at least 20,000 children. Many are subjected to brutal torture and abuse right now.

Ukraine proposes the release of prisoners – “all for all”, and the release of all children and adults who were illegally deported to Russia.

5. Implementation of the UN Charter and restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the world order

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state” Article 2 of the UN Charter states. By invading Ukraine, Russia has violated various international agreements, laws, and principles. 

Those can not apply partially if we want to build a future, where sovereignty and international borders are respected. That order, brutally attacked by Russia must be restored. And so does Ukraine’s territorial integrity –  it is not up for negotiations.

6. Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities

To cease the hostilities, Russia must withdraw all its troops and armed formations from the territory of Ukraine, plain and simple. Ukraine’s full control over its state border, recognized internationally, needs to be restored.

Without this, no long-lasting peace can be achieved. Each day Russian soldiers remain on Ukrainian land, Ukrainians have to fight and die to protect their homes and to shield the world from the long-lasting consequences of this aggression. 

A dove with an olive branch.A destroyed Russian tank was left behind after Russian forces withdrew from the Kyiv region.
By Efrem Lukatsky/AP Photo

7. Justice

No crime should be left unpunished – and as of August 2023, Ukraine had registered more than 100,000 war crimes committed by Russian military in this war. Hardly a day has passed in the years of Russian aggression without civilians being killed or injured by their shelling. With every liberated part of the country, the world witnessed mass graves, torture chambers, and many more horrors of Russian occupation. 

That is why the Special Tribunal regarding the crime of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has to be established. There is also a need for an international mechanism to make Russia compensate for all the damages caused by this war.

8. Immediate protection of the environment

The huge damage to the environment and wildlife was caused by Russian invasion: burned forests, mined fields, polluted waters, killed animals. Just the environmental damage caused by the Russians’ blowing up of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam has been approximately $1.5 billion – but it is hard to put numbers to the damages that changed the ecosystem for decades to come. And that is a challenge for the whole world. 



The Kakhovka reservoir has turned into a desert.
Photo: Serhii Nikitenko / Ukrainian online media “Most” (“Bridge” )

Ukraine is not a member of any of the alliances, and the Budapest memorandum has not been able to ensure the country’s safety in practice. Therefore, when the current Russian invasion is repelled, it is essential to prevent any chance of its repetition or further escalation.

This can only be achieved with proper and effective security guarantees for Ukraine, as well as renewed post-war security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic space that will include Ukraine.

10. Confirmation of the end of the war

The implementation of all named antiwar measures can not, and should not take long. After the hostilities are ceased, and security and justice are restored, the parties should sign an official document confirming the end of the war.

Support of the peace plan

There are no alternatives to this peace plan: only Ukraine, the country fighting against this war of aggression, can define what just and sustainable peace looks like. Therefore, all the initiatives of other states for a peaceful settlement can only be based on the Ukrainian peace formula.

But the participation of all the nations and international organizations, except the aggressor state, is extremely welcomed. Ukraine calls on countries to support the plan, focus on particular points, and help to implement them as soon as possible.

Photo: Presidential Office of Ukraine

The peace formula of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has already been welcomed by several dozen countries around the globe. In May 2023, 46 member states of the Council of Europe expressed their support for the plan during the summit. In June, it was also supported by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

In August 2023, a summit concerning the peace plan was held in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). About 40 countries participated in the meetings, and most have decided how they will make their contribution to help archive the points outlined in the Ukrainian peace plan.

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