90 States to Gather in Switzerland for Ukraine Peace Summit

Mon Jun 10 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

BERN: Ninety states worldwide have confirmed their participation in a conference aimed at finding a way to sustainable peace in Ukraine, Switzerland said on Monday adding that Russia will be absent.

Swiss President Viola Amherd told reporters in Bern that the objective of the mega event on June 15-16 is to agree on a path towards ending a war in Ukraine that started nearly 28 months ago.

Russia will not participate in the conference, which Switzerland is organizing at Kyiv’s request. Bern has previously stated that Russia was not invited as it had hinted it was not interested in participating.

Moscow says that Switzerland is no longer a neutral state because of the mirroring of sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union.

However, the Swiss government in a statement said that the conference will aim to define a roadmap jointly on how to involve both Russia and Ukraine in a future peace process.

Amherd said that the confirmed participants are from different world organisations like the United Nations, while the rest represent countries, about half of which will be represented at the highest level.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will attend the conference. However, the United States will be represented by Vice President Kamala Harris and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Amherd denied that Switzerland was disappointed that less than 100 states would attend after sending 160 invitations. The invitation list sought to draw support from those countries that have better ties with Moscow.

Major developing nations like Türkiye and South Africa have not indicated whether they will attend. Switzerland said India, will take part but it is not clear at what level. The final list of participants is expected to be finalized by Friday.

Brazil, China to skip the moot

Brazil and China said they would not attend unless Russia is at the table, according to Swiss officials. Beijing last week dismissed allegations from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that it was trying to undermine the summit by putting pressure on other states not to attend the event with the cooperation of Russia.

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said his country thinks there cannot be a peace process without Russia. “The question is not whether Russia will be on board, the question is when,” he told a news conference.

Officials said the summit aims to reach a common understanding towards peace and devise a roadmap on how to involve both sides. Switzerland announced its plans to deploy as many as 4,000 military personnel to provide security for the mega event. Amherd said that cyberattacks had intensified in recent weeks while noting personal attacks against her in Russian media.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp