Russia not currently invited to Ukraine peace talks, host Switzerland says

The Swiss government said on Thursday that “at this stage” Russia is not among the dozens of countries invited to talks to be held in Switzerland in mid-June aimed at helping bring about peace in the conflict between Moscow and Ukraine.

Switzerland’s government, which is inviting over 160 delegations, said it had always shown openness to inviting Russia. However, Moscow has repeatedly underlined it has no interest in participating in the initial talks, it added.

“Switzerland is convinced that Russia must be involved in this process,” the Swiss government said in a statement. “A peace process without Russia is not possible.”

Ukraine’s government has for its part questioned the utility of Russian participation in the talks due to be held from June 15-16 near the Swiss city of Lucerne.

“We know that it doesn’t make sense to have Russia at the table if you cannot ensure that they act in good faith,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine published this week.

Kuleba said putting pressure on Russia on the battlefield and bringing together countries “who share principles” should help to make Moscow more willing to engage in dialogue.

Russian officials point to Switzerland’s adoption of EU sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, and argue it therefore lacks credibility as a neutral broker.

Switzerland in January said it would host the summit at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The Swiss government said the talks will build on Zelenskyy’s peace formula and other peace proposals based on the UN Charter and key principles of international law.

The delegations invited include members of the G7, G20, BRICS groups, the EU, international organizations and two religious representatives, Switzerland said.

The talks aim to create a framework for a lasting peace, and a roadmap for Russia’s participation in the process, it said.

“The overarching objective of the summit is to inspire a future peace process,” the Swiss government said.

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