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Switzerland denies Ukraine peace summit ultimatums

Russian tank in Ukraine
Ukraine demands the withdrawal of Russian forces, but will the peace summit? KEYSTONE

The focus of the Swiss-hosted Ukraine peace conference will be on nuclear safety, food safety, freedom of navigation and humanitarian aspects, rather than demanding a withdrawal of Russian forces.

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The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) cast doubt on Russian Foreign Ministry statements that the summit will concentrate on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s ten-point peace plan.

+ What you need to know about the Ukraine peace summit

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry website, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a media conference that Russia has a copy of the summit’s finalised agenda – which still contains nine of the ten Zelensky points.

Those points include the “ultimate demand” for Russia to withdraw its troops and return to the 1991 borders, reparations and compensation from frozen Russian assets. Russia has concluded that the Bürgenstock peace conference is therefore doomed to failure.

The FDFA told the Keystone-SDA news agency that it would not directly comment on Russian allegations. However, the conference is intended to provide a platform at which various peace plans can be presented. “It remains to be seen whether a final declaration can be agreed at the end of the conference,” the FDFA added.

Zelensky told the New York Times a few days ago that a possible peace settlement must begin with plans to secure Ukrainian food exports to developing countries, the exchange of prisoners, the return of abducted children and securing a nuclear power plant occupied by Russia in the south of Ukraine.

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According to the latest information from the FDFA, 70 countries have so far announced their participation in the peace conference in mid-June, ‘most of them at head of state or government level’. Half are from Europe, the other half from the rest of the world.

In a video message on Sunday, Zelensky called on his counterparts from the United States and China, Joe Biden and Xi Jinping, to take part in the Ukraine peace conference. “Please support the peace summit with your leadership and participation,” he said.

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Translated from German by DeepL/mga

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI swissinfo.ch we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles. 

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