90 countries to attend Swiss-hosted Ukraine peace summit

Nearly 90 countries and organizations, half from Europe, have confirmed attending the Swiss-hosted Ukraine peace summit over the weekend despite Russia's refusal to participate in the conference, Switzerland's president said on Monday.

Viola Amherd told reporters in the Swiss capital that the summit, on June 14-15, will aim to chart a path toward possible peace nearly 28 months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine and the war grinding on.

"This is not propaganda," said Amherd. "This is about the basis of humanitarian aid provided by Switzerland … and to initiate a dialogue."

The Swiss president added that most participants — about half of which will be represented at the level of head of state or government — are country leaders, but "a handful" are from organizations like the United Nations.

Some, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, are expected to attend the summit at the Buergenstock resort.

About 160 invitations have been sent out and Amherd said it was not a "disappointment" for the Swiss government that fewer than 100 have so far announced participation in the first phase of the peace process.

Swiss authorities said the final list of participants was expected by June 14.

Brazil and China said they wouldn't take part unless both sides - including Russia - were at the table.

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis also addressed reporters, saying Switzerland has repeatedly acknowledged that there cannot be a peace process without Russia. "The question is not whether Russia will be on board, the question is when."

Ukraine has helped coordinate the summit, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to attend.

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