The war in Ukraine “must end”, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Sunday.

Speaking at the Ukraine peace summit at the Burgenstock resort in Switzerland, he said “illegality stemming from invasion, occupation, and the use of force, never can and never will be tolerated”.

“We are all here today to reiterate that Ukraine is not alone. The broad participation of leaders reflects our strong commitment to lasting peace in Ukraine, to lasting peace on the European continent, at a time when the perception that ‘peace is a given’ has collapsed,” he said.

He added, “our presence here today also aims to emphasise the great respect the international community has for the heroic, brave, Ukrainians.”

“Today, we all actively and collectively demonstrate that our solidarity and support both for Ukraine and for its people, for the consolidation of a just and sustainable peace, remains stable and united,” he said.

He went on to say that the ongoing Russian invasion has caused “unimaginable consequences” for Ukraine and “untold losses” for its people, and that this has also led to “devastating” impacts on both the region and the entire world.

“Russia’s actions have jeopardised food security for millions of people around the world. Therefore, it is vital to keep shipping channels open for Ukraine to export its products, making it clear that food security under no circumstances should be used as a weapon,” he said.

He also pointed out the “tragic humanitarian aspect” of the Ukrainian prisoners of war who were captured and taken to Russia.

A generation of Ukrainian children has experienced fear, loss, tragedy, and violence, both physical and psychological, for more than two years. Today, we reiterate our determination and persistence to act as catalysts for their safe return to their families,” he said.

“We remain on Ukraine’s side, assisting all just efforts for a lasting peace in the country. At the same time, our respect for the inviolability of borders and the territorial integrity and independence of all states is unconditional and applies to all nations around the world.”

He also expressed his hope that the summit would “pave the way for a meaningful dialogue with results” which will “ultimately chart a path towards a comprehensive peace”.

Earlier, he had expressed Cyprus’ “commitment and support” for Ukraine during a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on the sidelines of the summit.

According to presidential press office director Victor Papadopoulos, Christodoulides “reiterated Cyprus’ commitment and support for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of Ukraine.”

He said that this was the case as “Cyprus knows better than any other country what invasion and occupation means.”

In a separate post on X, the social media platform better known as Twitter, Zelenskiy said the pair had “discussed the next steps in implementing the peace formula and the anticipated start of Ukraine’s European Union accession talks in June.”

“I am grateful to Cyprus for all the assistance provided to our country,” he added.

The summit is being attended by more than 90 heads of government from across the world, as well as representatives of regional and international organisations including the United Nations and the European Union.

“The summit’s aim is to lay the groundwork for a start to a peace process in Ukraine, while its focus will be on issues related to nuclear security, food security, as well as the human dimension of war,” Papadopoulos had said earlier.

At the event’s opening on Saturday, Zelenskiy had said he believed “history will be made” at the summit and called for a “just peace” to be established as soon as possible.

“We have succeeded in bringing back to the world the idea that joint efforts can stop war and establish a just peace,” he said.

United States Vice President Kamala Harris was present at the meeting and announced $1.5 billion (€1.4bn) in assistance for Ukraine through the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAid).

That figure includes money for energy assistance, repairing energy infrastructure which has been damaged during the war, helping refugees, and strengthening civilian security on the ground.

Harris added that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is more than just an attack “on the lives and the freedom of the people of Ukraine”.

“It is not only an attack on global food security and energy supplies. Russia’s aggression is also an attack on international rules and norms and the principles embodied in the UN Charter,” she said.

Additionally, she said her country is committed to continuing to “impose costs on Russia” in the form of sanctions.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the event’s attendees are united in their support for peace in Ukraine, adding that “we all know we are only at the beginning”.

“Despite some of us around this table having different opinions on how to exactly get peace for Ukraine, let there be no mistake; we are totally united at a shared vision on principles, on values, on decency,” he said.

Russia has according to British public service broadcaster the BBC described the event as a “waste of time”, with the country’s President Vladimir Putin having said he would only agree to a ceasefire if Ukraine withdrew its troops from four regions which Russia partly occupies.

These terms were roundly rejected by the meeting’s attendees, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz describing it as a “dictatorial peace”.