Davos will not yield constructive Ukraine peace talks, Russian tycoon Deripaska says

MOSCOW (Reuters) – There is unlikely to be peace in Ukraine until at least May 2025 and constructive discussion at Davos on ending the conflict will not be possible because no Russian delegation will attend, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska said on Sunday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, triggering the biggest confrontation between the West and Moscow since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron and key Middle East leaders are slated to attend next week’s World Economic Forum, putting talks to end wars in Gaza and Ukraine at the top of the agenda for the global elite.

“It is a pity that a constructive talk about the situation in Ukraine will not happen — there will be no Russian delegation,” Deripaska said in a post on the Telegram app.

“Don’t await peace before May of ’25,” Deripaska said.

Deripaska, who studied physics at Moscow University, branched out into metals trading as the Soviet Union crumbled, making a fortune by buying up stakes in aluminium factories.

He founded RUSAL, which united the jewels of the Soviet aluminium industry into one holding, in 2000. He was ranked by the Russian version of Forbes last year as Russia’s 54th richest man with a worth of $2.5 billion.

Ukraine says it will not rest until every Russian soldier is ejected from its territory and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has decreed that any talks with Russia are illegal.

Russia, which controls a little under a fifth of Ukrainian territory, has dismissed Zelenskiy’s peace plan, known as his “peace formula”, as absurd as it aims to find peace without Russian participation.

Zelenskiy’s 10-point peace plan calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities and the restoration of Ukraine’s state borders with Russia.

Putin casts the war in Ukraine as part of a much broader global struggle with the West – which he says aims to split Russia apart and steal its resources. The West denies it wants to destroy Russia.

Since the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Deripaska himself has been sanctioned by Britain for his alleged ties to Putin. He has mounted a legal challenge against the sanctions.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Christina Fincher)