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17 May, 2024 10:23

BRICS leaders won’t attend Zelensky’s ‘peace conference’ – media

The Brazilian and South African presidents have decided not to participate in the event, which excludes Russia, according to reports
BRICS leaders won’t attend Zelensky’s ‘peace conference’ – media

The leaders of Brazil and South Africa will not attend a conference on Ukraine to be hosted by Switzerland next month, reports have said.

The summit, scheduled for June 15-16 at the Burgenstock Resort near Lucerne, is expected to revolve around Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s proposed roadmap for ending the conflict with Russia. More than 160 countries have been invited to take part, including members of the G7, G20, BRICS, and the EU. Russia, however, has not been invited to the talks.

On Friday, South African presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya told reporters that President Cyril Ramaphosa would not take part in the Swiss summit due to “constitutional processes” in his country following the presidential election.

His Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has also decided not to attend the event, due to it not including both sides in the conflict, CNN Brazil reported on Thursday.

According to the outlet, Bern extended an invitation via Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira during his bilateral meeting with Swiss Councilor Ignacio Cassis on April 30. A source close to Vieira told CNN that Cassis insisted on Lula’s presence at the conference, highlighting Brazil’s influence among developing nations.

However, Lula decided that any Brazilian delegation at the summit will not be led by the president. In his opinion, it makes no sense to attend a meeting that leaves Russia out, the outlet said citing diplomatic sources.

China is another major BRICS member which presumably will ignore the Swiss meeting, according to Yury Ushakov, who is assistant to the Russian president for international affairs.

Ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China on Tuesday, Ushakov told reporters that Moscow appreciates Beijing’s presumed decision not to participate in the event, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has described as a “parody of negotiations.”

Switzerland has invited China to the Ukraine summit, but Beijing has yet to confirm whether it will send a delegation.

China has previously stressed that discussions on a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict must inevitably involve Russia.

Last month, President Putin said that he was ready for a diplomatic solution, but that holding negotiations without Moscow was “nonsense.” He emphasized that while Russia had not been invited to the Swiss summit, it was at the same time being stressed that “it’s impossible to resolve anything” without Russia.

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