Ukraine Says Russia Must Join Peace Talks

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba has acknowledged that Russia will eventually have to participate in peace negotiations.

Kuleba stated during the Swiss-hosted Ukraine ‘peace conference’ on Sunday that Kiev aims to bring Moscow to the negotiating table when Ukraine is in a stronger position. Speaking at the Alpine resort of Burgenstock on the second day of the two-day event, Kuleba emphasized the need for both sides of the conflict to engage in negotiations at some point to achieve lasting 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,” Kuleba stated, adding that Ukraine understands “perfectly well that the moment will come when it will be necessary to talk to Russia.”

Russia, which has not been formally invited to the event, has dismissed the conference as meaningless, citing Kiev and its Western allies’ unwillingness to consider Moscow’s terms. The summit largely revolved around Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s proposed ten-point ‘peace formula,’ which Moscow has firmly rejected. Russian President Vladimir Putin outlined his terms for a ceasefire on Friday, which Kiev and the West have also dismissed.

Kuleba acknowledged to reporters that some countries outside Europe and North America hold differing views on 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, only 78 signed the final communique, according to the list published by the Swiss Foreign Affairs Department. Several attendees argued that Russia should have been present at the negotiations.

Any meaningful progress toward peace will require “Russia’s participation,” as well as “difficult compromise” between the parties, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud stated at the event. Saudi Arabia did not sign the final communique.

Türkiye, meanwhile, reiterated its willingness to host peace talks, as it did in spring 2022 when Russia and Ukraine failed to reach an agreement. Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan warned that the conflict could escalate beyond Ukrainian borders and potentially trigger a global conflict involving weapons of mass destruction. He emphasized that the “Ukrainian peace plan,” alongside Russia’s recently reiterated terms, are “important steps” and a “glimpse of hope” that could eventually end the bloodshed.