Switzerland to Host Ukraine Peace Conference… But No Russia

GENEVA (AP) – The Swiss government said Wednesday it will hold a high-level international conference in June to chart a path toward peace in Ukraine after more than two years of war, with the hope that Russia may one day join the peace process. I’m looking forward to it.

The lakeside Bürgenstock resort is scheduled to host a rally on June 15th and 16th. Government officials from dozens of countries are expected to gather, following plans put together in recent months by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.

“The first country we talked to after Ukraine was, of course, Russia,” Cassis told reporters in the Swiss capital Bern on Wednesday. That’s because it won’t work,” he said.

Swiss daily Neue Zurcher Zeitung reported on Wednesday that US President Joe Biden may attend. He is expected to remain in Italy for the G7 summit, but the White House has not said whether he will attend the Swiss meeting.

The Swiss government said early talks to hold the conference included envoys from the European Union and the so-called Global South, including Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

“At today’s meeting, the Bundestag took note of the results so far and discussed next steps. There is now sufficient international support for a high-level meeting to start a peace process,” Bern’s Federal Government said. said in a statement.

The council acknowledged that there were “some unknowns” leading up to the meeting, but said: “Given Switzerland’s long diplomatic tradition and the encouraging feedback received during the exploratory phase, the Ukrainian peace process is We believe that it is Switzerland’s responsibility to contribute to the

Much of the diplomatic uncertainty centers on whether China, Russia’s key ally, will attend, and Cassis reiterated Beijing’s support for Switzerland’s ambitions during a visit to the Chinese capital last month. I asked strongly.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that Beijing supports the meeting, which was accepted by both Russia and Ukraine, but this is not true so far.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned last week that future negotiations to end the fighting in Ukraine could only succeed if they take Moscow’s interests into account, and a series of planned peace talks denied it was a Western ploy to rally broad international support for Kiev.

Ukrainian and Swiss officials said they had consulted with dozens of countries as part of diplomatic efforts surrounding the proposed meeting.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said there will be no peace in Ukraine unless Russia’s goals are achieved.