“Ukraine Peace Summit” in Switzerland

Swiss Confederation President Viola Amherd announced that they will host the Ukraine Peace Summit on 15-16 June 2024.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov emphasized that any peace conference regarding a solution in Ukraine without Russia's participation is not result-oriented.
The fact that the Ukrainian side expressed its satisfaction with Russia not being invited shows that they do not have concrete expectations in the context of peace talks at this stage.


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On April 10, 2024, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Viola Amherd, announced that they would host the first Ukrainian Peace Summit, which will be held on June 15-16, 2024. Stating that he was honored to invite world leaders to the Ukraine Peace Summit, Amherd noted that the summit will be held in the town of Bürgenstock in the canton of Nidwalden. According to the statement made by the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than 160 delegations from around the world were invited to the summit.[1]

According to the ministry’s statement, the conference will discuss the peace formula of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and other proposals based on the UN Charter and the basic principles of international law. The 10-point peace formula presented in late 2022 foresees, among other things, the removal of all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory. The statement stated that “Switzerland has a long tradition of encouraging dialogue” and that “it is therefore extremely important to share different views on the path to peace in Ukraine.”[2]

In the statement of the Swiss Government dated May 2, 2024, it was stated that the invited delegations included members of the G7, G20, BRICS groups, the European Union (EU), international organizations and two religious representatives. Switzerland has announced that it aims to create a framework for a permanent peace in Ukraine, as well as a road map for Russia’s participation in the peace process. The Berne Government announced that Moscow was not among those invited “at this stage”.[3]

In his statement on May 2, 2024, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov emphasized that any peace conference regarding a solution in Ukraine without the participation of Russia is not result-oriented. Peskov stated that he was skeptical about the possible outcomes of the conference due to the exclusion of Moscow:[4]

“We don’t understand what a turning point this peace conference is. What kind of a conference with serious prospects and what kind of results can we talk about without Russia’s participation? This is absolutely not possible. This is not a results-oriented initiative. Russia’s stance in the context of peace talks is known to everyone. Our stance is consistent, transparent, repeated many times and confirmed by our President.”

Russia’s reaction on the issue was not limited to Peskov. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova gave a written response to a press organization’s question about the peace summit to be hosted by Switzerland. She stated that Switzerland followed a policy against Russia and supported Ukraine, and therefore lost its neutrality and mediation ability. Zaharova claimed that solutions to the Ukrainian Crisis would not be sought at the conference in question and emphasized that “the West is not in favor of resolving this issue and is trying to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.” In her response published on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zakharova stated that Switzerland distorted the facts about the conference:[5]

 “Russia will not participate not only in the so-called first summit in Switzerland, but also in any event that includes an ultimatum and supports Zelensky’s formula. Even if we are persistently invited to such forums, we will not do this. We call on our partners from countries around the world to be vigilant and refrain from participating in such forums in order not to take part in the provocative actions of Kiev and the West against Russia.”

The “Zelensky Formula” mentioned by Zakharova; demands the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukrainian territory, the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the release of all prisoners of war and exiles, the prevention of ecological destruction in Ukraine, and the punishment of those responsible for war crimes. In his statement to Foreign Policy Magazine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba defended his decision not to invite Russia with the following words:[6]

“Our approach stems from reality and our experiences… Between 2014 and 2022, we met with Russia approximately 200 times in different formats, with mediators and bilaterally. But nothing worked. It resulted in a large-scale invasion (in 2022).”

Although the Swiss Government stated that it found Russia’s participation in the talks “essential” for the future, it can be said that the Russian side will definitely not make concessions to the Zelenski Formula at this stage. The fact that the Ukrainian side expressed its satisfaction with Russia not being invited shows that it does not have concrete expectations in the context of peace talks at this stage.

On a platform where real expectations will be discussed for the solution of any crisis; the fact that it is no one of the main actors of the crisis creates a “diplomatic oxymoron”, so to speak. A platform in which Russia does not participate would be a consolidation initiative that would be far from a dialogue environment that would resolve the Ukrainian War and would serve as an “echo chamber” in which Ukrainian discourse would be repeated in Western public opinion.

[1] “İsviçre, 15-16 Haziran’da Ukrayna Barış Zirvesi’ne ev sahipliği yapacak”, TRT,, (Date of Access: 03.05.2024).

[2] Kirez, T., “Switzerland invites over 160 delegations to Ukraine peace conference”, Anadolu Ajansı,, (Date of Access: 03.05.2024).

[3] “İsviçre: Rusya ‘şu aşamada’ Ukrayna barış konferansına davetli değil”, Euronews,, (Date of Access: 03.05.2024).

[4] “Peskov: Ukraine talks without Russia’s participation not focused on result”, BelTA,, (Date of Access: 03.05.2024).

[5] Ibid.

[6] Fornusek, M., “Switzerland peace summit to take place on June 15-16, Russia not invited ‘at this stage’”, The Kyiv Independent,, (Date of Access: 03.05.2024).

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