PM Narendra Modi may attend Swiss peace meet on Ukraine : The Tribune India

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PM Narendra Modi may attend Swiss peace meet on Ukraine

To be held back to back with G7’s Italy summit in June

PM Narendra Modi may attend Swiss peace meet on Ukraine


Tribune News Service

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi, April 11

Switzerland will host a high-level conference on peace in Ukraine, which may be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as it is being held back to back with the G7 summit in Italy to which leaders of most major Global South countries, including India, have been invited.

Russia, China likely to opt out

  • The Switzerland peace meet will take place on June 15 & 16, a day after G7 summit concludes in Italy
  • Swiss govt has discussed participation with leaders and envoys of India, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, S Arabia & South Africa
  • While Ukrainian President will attend talks, there is a question mark on participation of Russia & China
  • Russia is sceptical about meet gaining traction; Foreign Minister has called it a Western ruse to rally global support for Kyiv

The June 15-16 meeting in Switzerland will be held a day after the two-day G7 summit concludes on June 14 in south-eastern Italy. All seven leaders of G7, including US President Joe Biden, are expected to travel to a resort above Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland for talks on Ukraine. The Italian government has indicated it will invite major leaders of the Global South, including India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and South Africa. Their participation will blunt criticism of the G7 being a club of the ultra-rich and also make it difficult for the Global South Presidents and Prime Ministers to wriggle out of the invite for the Swiss meet.

The Swiss government has said it has discussed participation with leaders and envoys of Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will attend the meeting.

However, the participation of Russia, the other protagonist in the conflict, is unlikely but the Swiss government hopes Moscow may join in the peace process one day.

China’s participation is also a big question mark. While Beijing had attended a similar peace meeting in Jeddah last year, for the NSAs’ meeting in Copenhagen in January this year it sent its Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui.

Russia is sceptical about the peace meet gaining traction. “First we need to understand what they are talking about there, what kind of a peace formula they have in mind. Second, we have repeatedly said the negotiation process without Russia is pointless,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also dismissed the meet as a Western ruse to rally broader international support for Kyiv.

“A conference to launch such a process is currently receiving sufficient international approval, it aims to establish a common understanding of the framework conducive to this goal, as well as a concrete roadmap for the peace process,” said a Swiss government statement.

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