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Snubbing Zelensky’s ‘peace summit’ is understandable – Kremlin

Foreign officials don’t want to waste time on a futile exercise, spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said

Moscow perfectly understands nations that have declined to participate in the so-called “Ukraine peace summit” organized by Switzerland later this month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

The event, scheduled for June 15-16 at the Burgenstock Resort, has been touted by Kiev and its Western backers as the most realistic way of resolving the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Moscow, however, has been deliberately excluded from the gathering, and has rejected it as a “scam” intended to trick neutral nations into supporting Vladimir Zelensky and the Ukrainian government. Countries such as China have already said they will not attend the conference, while India is reportedly among those considering sending only a low-level delegation.

“Countries don’t want to take part in an event without a goal. This is an absurd activity, just some idle way to spend time,” Peskov said, describing any reluctance or refusal to attend as “absolutely understandable.”

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue summit at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore on June 2, 2024.
Zelensky failing to win over Asian countries – WaPo

China has publicly rejected an invitation, stating that it sees little merit in a discussion limited to Kiev’s view of the conflict. Saudi Arabia, which hosted a similar Ukraine-themed meeting in 2023, has also reportedly declined to attend. Pakistan likewise intends to skip the event, according to local media, while India is said to be considering whether to downgrade its representation compared to the gathering in Saudi Arabia last August.

US President Joe Biden will not be going to Switzerland either, opting instead to attend a fundraiser in Hollywood. Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will speak on Washington’s behalf at the conference, the White House has said.

Zelensky has hit out at nations that have chosen to shun the summit, and last weekend accused China of serving as a Russian tool and of trying to derail Ukrainian efforts. He has also claimed Biden’s absence would “not [be] a particularly strong move.”

The Ukrainian leader is seeking continued military assistance for Kiev’s armed forces, which have been pushed back on the front line for months by Russian troops. Zelensky’s presidential term expired last month after his government declined to hold a new election due to martial law.

READ MORE: Biden officially snubs Zelensky’s ‘peace summit’

Moscow perceives Zelensky to be holding onto power illegitimately under Ukrainian law, and he was described by the Russian Foreign Ministry last week as “the ringleader of the Kiev regime.”

June 04, 2024 at 05:05PM

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