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West won’t host next Ukraine ‘peace conference’ – Switzerland

China was conspicuously absent from last weekend’s summit, with multiple Global South nations refusing to sign the final communique

The next conference on the Ukraine conflict will not take place in the West, Swiss Ambassador Gabriel Luechinger has stated. The senior diplomat, who helped organize last weekend’s gathering at Switzerland’s Burgenstock Resort, indicated that discussions with potential hosts are already underway.

In the run-up to the event, a number of nations declined to attend, with China announcing that it would not be sending representatives to Switzerland. Beijing argued that the absence of Russia at the conference would make any attempts at peace futile – an assertion echoed by several countries.

Moscow stated in March that it would not attend even if invited, as it would likely be based on Vladimir Zelensky’s ‘peace formula’, which Russia considers to be unrealistic and an ultimatum.

In an interview with Swiss broadcaster SRF on Monday, Luechinger said: “What is clear is that the next peace summit will not be in Europe, and will not take place in the West.” The senior diplomat revealed that several nations had been approached at the conference regarding a potential role in organizing the next summit.

“It is now up to them to decide,” he added. “In the next weeks, I think, things will start moving.”

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India’s former ambassador to Russia, Pavan Kapoor (C) at the ‘Summit on Peace in Ukraine’ at the Burgenstock Resort, Switzerland, June 15, 2024.
New Delhi explains refusal to sign Zelensky ‘peace conference’ declaration

Asked whether Saudi Arabia could host a meeting, Luechinger hinted that it could be an option, without going into detail.

He also stressed that “Russia should be integrated in the peace process in some way.”

While Ukraine has touted the conference at the Burgenstock Resort as a success, around a dozen countries that took part in the talks did not sign the final communique, including India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the UAE, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Jordan, and Iraq.

The document did not include many of the key points of Kiev’s ‘peace formula’. It called for the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant to be transferred under Ukrainian control, as well as unrestricted access to ports in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, and the release of all prisoners of war.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Saturday that Moscow “wants to get together next time at a more substantive and promising event.”

Last Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined the conditions for a ceasefire, which include the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from all territories claimed by Moscow, as well as the renunciation of Kiev’s NATO aspirations.

The Ukrainian government and its Western backers have dismissed the proposal, calling it an ultimatum.

June 18, 2024 at 03:43PM

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