Ninety countries, groups to attend Swiss Ukraine summit

Nearly 90 countries and organisations, half from Europe, have confirmed attending the Swiss-hosted Ukraine peace summit over the weekend, Switzerland’s president says.

Russia has not been invited but says it would not have attended anyway as the conference is based on the peace proposals of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that the Kremlin rejects.

President Viola Amherd told reporters in the Swiss capital Bern that the summit, on Saturday and Sunday, will aim to chart a path toward possible peace nearly 28 months after Russian forces invaded Ukraine and the war grinds on.

"This is not about propaganda," Amherd said.

"This is about the basis of humanitarian aid provided by Switzerland, based on fostering peace (and) to provide a platform to initiate a dialogue."

The Swiss president said that most participants would be top country leaders, with about half represented at the head of state or government level, and "a handful" from organisations like the United Nations.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz are expected to attend the summit at the Bürgenstock resort overlooking Lake Lucerne in the village of Obbürgen.

US Vice President Kamala Harris will take part on behalf of the United States. 

Swiss army helicopter
About 4000 Swiss military personnel will be deployed to provide security for a Ukraine summit.

US President Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan will join Harris as part of the US delegation.

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 Friday but key developing countries like Turkey, South Africa and Brazil have not indicated whether they would attend. 

India said it will take part but it is not clear at which level.

Brazil and China said they would not take part unless both sides - including Russia - were at the table, according to Swiss officials. 

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."

He also said Switzerland is in frequent contact with authorities in Moscow about the conference. 

Ukraine has helped co-ordinate the summit, and Zelenskiy is expected to attend. 

Cassis said Swiss officials had to balance considerations that Ukraine might not have attended if Russia was represented.

Zelenskiy has gone on a diplomatic push to try and lure attendees to the summit. 

He has also accused China and Russia of trying to undermine it. 

The Swiss-hosted conference follows on the heels of the G7 summit in neighbouring Italy.

Swiss officials say the conference aims to set a course toward "lasting peace" in Ukraine, to reach a "common understanding" toward getting there and draw up the "roadmap" on how to get both sides involved in talks. 

Nuclear security, humanitarian aid and food security are also on the summit's agenda.

As many as 4000 military personnel will be deployed to provide security and support air transportation, surveillance and roll out security fencing and steel wire for the event, officials said, adding that an increase in cyberattacks in the run-up to the summit was noted but did not provide details.

In a Swiss valley deep below a mountain ridge where the resort is, Swiss troops set up a makeshift heliport in a grassy field ringed by barbed wire Monday in preparation for the summit as cowbells clanged nearby.

Russia launched three guided bombs at Ukraine's northeastern city of Kharkiv on Monday, injuring at least six people and damaging private houses, local officials said. 

At least two houses were damaged in the attack, and more people may remain under rubble, mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram.

At one site, a fire broke out, and several garages and cars were damaged as well, he added. 

Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv and the surrounding region have long been targeted by Russian attacks but the strikes have become more intense in recent months, hitting civilian and energy infrastructure.

Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians but thousands have been killed and injured in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

with Reuters

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store