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Switzerland to host Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16

Switzerland to host Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16

The Swiss government will host a two-day high-level conference in June aimed at achieving peace in Ukraine, it said on Wednesday, although Russia has made clear it will not take part in the initiative.

Switzerland said in January it would host a peace summit at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and has since held talks with the EU, G7 member states and countries such as China and India to gauge their interest in taking part.

“There is currently sufficient international support for a high-level conference to launch the peace process,” the Federal Council said in a statement.

The conference will be held June 15-16 at the Bürgenstock resort in the canton of Nidwalden outside the city of Lucerne. It will aim to create a framework favourable to a comprehensive and lasting peace in Ukraine, as well as “a concrete roadmap for Russia’s participation in the peace process”.

While Moscow has said it is not against negotiations to end the war, Russian officials have said they will not take part in talks in Switzerland, a country they consider to have relinquished its neutrality with regard to the conflict.

Festive offer

Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, has said the Swiss initiative is pointless without Moscow’s participation.

China, a Moscow ally, said last month it would consider taking part in the conference.

Beijing itself put forward a 12-point paper more than a year ago that set out general principles for ending the war but did not get into specifics. It received a lukewarm reception at the time in both Russia and Ukraine, although Russia’s foreign minister said this month that plan was the most reasonable of those presented by other countries so far.


Swiss President Viola Amherd said there was no guarantee June’s initiative would be a success and that it would not immediately yield a peace deal.

“The alternative would be to do nothing, and that would be irresponsible for the stability of Europe and also for Switzerland,” she told a press conference.

She added: “We will not sign a peace plan at this conference. We think there will be a second conference, but we want to start the process with this one.”

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said formal invitations to take part in the conference would be issued to more than 100 countries this week.

In a telephone call, Zelenskiy and Amherd agreed to attract as many countries as possible to take part in the summit, the Ukrainian president’s office said on Wednesday.

After two years of war, Russia holds just under a fifth of Ukraine’s territory and accuses Kyiv’s Western supporters of using Ukraine as a theatre to fight Russia.

Moscow has repeatedly said it is open to talks, but that these must recognise the “new realities on the ground”.

Ukraine demands the restoration of its territorial integrity and a full withdrawal of Russian forces as conditions for peace.