(Reuters) – Switzerland hosting peace talks on Ukraine would be “pointless”, Russia’s ambassador to Switzerland said in an interview published on Sunday.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelenskiy asked Switzerland to organise a peace summit.
Neutral Switzerland has acted as a broker to resolve international conflicts in the past. Russian ambassador Sergei Garmonin, however, told Swiss paper SonntagsZeitung that a Ukraine peace summit without Moscow’s participation would be “doomed to fail”.
Garmonin criticized Switzerland, saying the country consistently supported the “anti-Russian line of the collective West,” and by showing solidarity with Ukraine it had “lost its role as an impartial international mediator.” Swiss mediation is therefore “out of the question”, he said.
Zelenskiy’s 10-point peace plan was not a basis for entering into dialogue because it contained a series of ultimatums against Russia, Garmonin said. “You can’t talk to Russia in the language of ultimatums,” he said.
He said Russian demands to be taken into account included that “Ukraine must become a neutral, non-aligned country without nuclear weapons that respects the human rights and freedoms of all citizens and national groups on its territory.”
(Reporting by Emma-Victoria Farr, editing by Susan Fenton)