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Ex-Soviet states resisted Western pressure on Ukraine – Moscow

Russian Deputy FM Mikhail Galuzin says Vladimir Zelensky and his “friends” personally invited CIS leaders to the Swiss peace conference

All members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have turned down invitations to participate in the Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland later this month, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin has claimed.

He alleged that Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky and his Western backers had personally phoned the leaders of the former Soviet republics in a bid to secure their presence at the gathering that Moscow has described as “absurd.”

The event, scheduled for June 15 and 16 at Burgenstock Resort, has been touted by Kiev and its Western backers as the most realistic way of resolving the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

However, Moscow is conspicuously absent from the list of the nations invited by the organizers – something that makes the very premise of the conference nonsensical, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April.

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The conference is based on Zelensky’s peace formula. The ten-point initiative calls for Moscow to withdraw from all territory Kiev claims as its own and for a tribunal to be set up to prosecute Russian officials for alleged war crimes. Moscow has dismissed the initiative, calling it “detached from reality.”

Speaking to TASS on Tuesday, Galuzin said Zelensky and his Western ‘friends’ began personally phoning and asking the leaders of CIS countries to take part in this gathering. He added that “none of them has yielded to such entreaties.”

According to Galuzin, former Soviet states are well aware of the fact that the upcoming conference “has nothing to do with peace” and is rather an attempt to “hastily contrive an anti-Russian coalition and issue an ultimatum to Moscow.”

Commenting on Zelesnky’s appearance at the Shangri-La Dialogue annual security conference in Singapore on Sunday, where he met with several senior officials from the region, the Washington Post concluded that his charm offensive had largely been unsuccessful.

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Ukraine's Vladimir Zelensky and US Vice President Kamala Harris at the Munich Security Conference (MSC) on February 17, 2024.
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The paper attributed his supposed failure to widespread skepticism among Asian leaders over Western sermons on “international order and universal values.”

Speaking on Tuesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the reluctance of some nations to take part in the event was “absolutely understandable,” as the conference represents nothing more than an “absurd activity.”

While more than 100 countries have said they will be sending delegations to the Swiss-hosted peace summit, China has publicly turned down an invitation, stating that it sees little merit in a discussion that excludes Russia.

US President Joe Biden will not be going to Switzerland either, the White House has announced. The leaders of India, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan will also be absent. Some of these countries are reportedly considering sending a minor delegation instead.

June 04, 2024 at 08:59PM

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