Russian Foreign Minister Derides Switzerland As 'Openly Hostile Country'

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has described Switzerland as an "openly hostile country" in an interview.

This content was published on April 19, 2024 - 14:16 2 minutes Keystone-SDA
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As a result, Switzerland is not suitable for negotiations on the Ukraine conflict, Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian state news agency Ria Novosti on Friday.

Lavrov said in an interview with Russian radio stations that Switzerland had turned from a neutral country into an“openly hostile country”. It was therefore not suitable for conducting peace negotiations on Ukraine. He was apparently referring to the peace conference planned to be held at Bürgenstock, canton Nidwalden, in June.

About a week ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticised the conference. Russia was not invited, he said, although nothing could be decided without Moscow. Putin further suggested that because no Russian delegation was going to attend, it could then be claimed
that Russia was refusing to negotiate. He described the situation as“a real cabinet of curiosities”.

Without Zelensky's 10-point plan

Lavrov said that Russia respected China's position. Its representatives had spoken out in favour of convening a conference that would be acceptable to Russia and Ukraine.

The 10-point plan of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should be left aside completely, Lavrov further stated. Instead, the basis on which Russia would be prepared to negotiate should be discussed first.

According to Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, Lavrov was the first person he spoke to, in New York in January, about the concrete organisation of a peace conference. At that time, Cassis emphasised to Lavrov that Switzerland wanted to openly discuss all points of view and explore all possible routes to peace.

Adapted from German by DeepL/kc

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