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IPFS News Link • Ukraine

Ukraine admits need for peace talks with Russia


Ukraine is prepared to negotiate with Russia but only when it has a stronger bargaining position, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told journalists at the Swiss-hosted 'peace conference' on Sunday.

Speaking to the press at the Alpine resort of Burgenstock on the second day of the two-day event, Kuleba acknowledged that both sides of the Ukraine conflict will have to negotiate at some point to reach a definitive peace.

"The idea is that the next summit should be the end of the war. And, of course, we need the other side at the negotiating table as well," he said.

"It is obvious that both sides are needed to end the war, our job is to ensure that Ukraine is in the strongest position at that time," Kiev's top diplomat stated. He claimed that Ukraine understands "perfectly well that the moment will come when it will be necessary to talk to Russia."

Russia was not invited to the Swiss-hosted event, and described the conference as meaningless, given the unwillingness of Kiev and its Western backers to consider Moscow's terms. The summit was largely based around Ukrainian leader Vladimir Zelensky's proposed ten-point 'peace formula,' which Moscow has firmly rejected. Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced his terms for a ceasefire on Friday, conditions which Kiev and the West have roundly dismissed.

Speaking to reporters, Kuleba noted that some countries outside Europe and North America have a different view of the conflict. "Yesterday there were voices from the Global South about difficult compromises that need to be made. This is not the language we hear from Western partners," he admitted.

Out of 92 countries represented at the summit, 78 left their signatures on the final communique, according to a list published by the Swiss Foreign Affairs Department. Several attendees argued that Russia should have been present at the negotiating table.

Any meaningful progress towards peace will require "Russia's participation," as well as "difficult compromise" between the parties, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said. Saudi Arabia did not sign the final communique.