MOSCOW: Russia will not attend a follow-up to last month’s Ukraine peace summit, state news agency RIA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin as saying on Thursday.

Russia was not invited to the initial summit in Switzerland that was attended by representatives of 92 countries, and said that discussing the war in its absence was a waste of time.

Ukraine has said it wants to hold another such summit later this year, probably in the Global South, and that representatives from Russia could be invited this time.

RIA cited Galuzin as describing Ukrainian preconditions for peace talks as an “ultimatum” and that Moscow was “not going to participate in such summits”.

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President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman was less categorical than Galuzin, saying there was currently “no precise substance” regarding the idea of a second summit.

“What proposals are we talking about?” the spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was quoted by RIA as saying.

“You know that President Putin and the Russian Federation are always open to dialogue, we have never refused dialogue. But we must understand what we are talking about.”

Putin said last month that Russia was willing to end the war, but only on condition that Ukraine drop its NATO ambitions and hand over the entirety of four regions claimed by Moscow. Ukraine dismissed those demands as tantamount to surrender.

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Russian controls nearly a fifth of its neighbour’s territory. Kyiv says it is committed to take back all of that, and that peace is only possible if Russia pulls out its forces and Ukraine’s full territorial integrity is restored.


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