Russia’s ambassador to Switzerland said Moscow could not accept any Swiss-hosted peace summit on Ukraine after it joined European Union sanctions against his country, adding Switzerland had lost its reputation for neutrality.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had suggested in a speech to the Swiss parliament that the country could act as a mediator.
In an interview with Le Temps newspaper published on Thursday, Sergei Garmonin said Russia would not accept that Switzerland, which traditionally has served as a location for high-level talks between feuding powers, host such a summit.
“Swiss representation and mediation are out of the question,” Garmonin said. “Switzerland has unfortunately lost its status as a neutral state and can no longer act as a mediator or as a representative of interests.”
In his speech to parliament on June 15, Zelenskyy invited Switzerland to host a global peace summit on Ukraine, saying he had previously discussed the initiative with Swiss President Alain Berset.
Switzerland has been harshly criticized by Russia for adopting the European Union’s sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine and freezing Russian assets worth 7.5 billion Swiss francs ($8.36 billion).
Switzerland, which has a long-standing policy of barring any country that buys its arms from re-exporting them to parties in a conflict, on Wednesday blocked arms maker Ruag AG from selling Leopard 1 tanks that could have been used in Ukraine.