Swiss President Urges Putin To Enter 'Dialogue In Difficult Times'

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Viola Amherd, who holds this year's rotating Swiss presidency, wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin after his re-election in March, reports the SonntagsBlick newspaper. The letter is not a congratulatory one, but an "invitation to dialogue in difficult times", a spokesperson for the Federal Department of Defence told the newspaper.

This content was published on April 21, 2024 - 13:50 2 minutes RTS
  • Русский ru Президент Швейцарии призвала Владимира Путина к диалогу Read more: Президент Швейцарии призвала Владимира Путина к диалогу

In her letter, Amherd, who is also the country's defence minister, explains Switzerland's position, calling for respect for international law, human rights and the universal principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, which must be the compass in the quest for peace and prosperity, reports the SonntagsBlick.

Above all, the letter invites the Russian president to engage in dialogue, just as Switzerland is organising a peace conference on Ukraine in mid-June.

+ All you need to know about the Ukraine peace summit

The guest list for the conference has not yet been drawn up. However, it is expected that high-level representatives from around 120 countries will be invited, including United States President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Switzerland is a 'hostile country'

However, Russia has not been invited to the conference, which will take place in the mountain resort of Bürgenstock in central Switzerland. Putin was quick to criticise this, declaring that nothing could be decided without Russia.

+ Swiss stay mum on Putin's criticism of Ukraine peace conference

Last Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov went further, describing Switzerland as a“hostile country”. According to him, Switzerland has abandoned its neutrality in the Ukrainian conflict and is therefore not in a position to conduct peace negotiations.

Amherd's letter also contains messages of condolences for the victims of the terrorist attack on a concert hall in Moscow on March 22 and for the victims of floods in several regions of Russia.

Translated from French by DeepL/gw

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