Russian calls on ‘responsible’ countries to refrain from participating in planned Ukraine peace summit


Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Wednesday called on “responsible” countries to refrain from participating in the planned Ukraine peace summit, questioning the legitimacy of the peace process without the involvement of Russia, the main country in the conflict.

Zakharova called Kyiv’s initiative “provocative” at a press conference in Moscow, noting that it only contains “a set of ultimatum demands to Russia” to withdraw troops, pay reparations, and “turn in” to some “pseudo-tribunals” established by Ukraine with the active support of the West.

So far, no country has expressly announced its intent to host the summit; nevertheless, Ukrainian and Western officials have stated that the meeting will be held in July and it will not include Russia, instead attempting to build a broad coalition behind the Kyiv government.

According to the spokeswoman, it would be an ostentatious event with no intention to have peace as its goal.

To back up her words, Zakharova pointed out that Ukraine and the West have made it clear that Russia, one of the conflict’s participants, will not be invited, and she questioned how peace can be negotiated without it.

At the same, countries that have nothing to do with the war but are able to support Ukraine in the media are also expected to attend the summit, she noted.

“The Kyiv regime does not think about any peace, it is not allowed to do so by those in Washington and Brussels saying that the time has not come for peace, only the battlefield, the war to the last Ukrainian.

“Making statements about possible negotiations with Russia, the Kyiv regime for some unknown reason forgets that it, Kyiv, at the behest of the West unilaterally interrupted the negotiation process in March 2022,” she said.

Since then, Moscow has not heard of any constructive suggestion regarding the resumption of the negotiation process, she added.

“On the contrary, only requests, cries and demands for the West to provide more weapons and all kinds of insults, aggressive statements against Russia,” she alleged.

Zakharova also reminded that the Ukrainian authorities legitimized the ban on negotiations with Russia by “adopting an appropriate legislative act.”

Russia to defend Wagner Group chief​​​​​​​

In response to reports that the US plans to issue an arrest warrant for paramilitary Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin in a country with an extradition agreement with Washington, Zakharova said, “Any Russian citizen is not subject to extradition to another country and has the right for Russia’s support in protecting him from unlawful attempts to bring him to criminal responsibility.”

Concerning the Wagners Group’s plans to continue working in African countries, she said “Whether they will work there under contracts, whether they will be present there, is a matter for the sovereign governments of African countries.”

Commenting on a criminal case filed in the US against a Russian citizen, Natalya Burlinova, the spokeswoman said her only crime was an attempt to build relations between Russian and American civil societies.

In this regard, the spokeswoman urged the UN and other relevant international organizations to take action in response to the US “hunt” for Russian citizens.

The official denied rumors about Russia’s plans to open an embassy in Jerusalem, emphasizing that Moscow’s position on the city remains unchanged, saying it must be the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

As for the agreement on a plot for constructing a consular complex in West Jerusalem, reached with Israel, she said it “fixes and confirms the historical right of Russia to the specified site, provides for the possibility of opening an exclusively technical point for providing consular services to Russian citizens on this site after creating all the necessary conditions.”

Zakharova also expressed concern about the increasing number of armed incidents and violations of the cease-fire regime in the Karabakh region.

“We call on the parties to exercise restraint and resolve all disputed issues peacefully, politically, and diplomatically in cooperation with the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent,” she said.

The spokeswoman added that the Russian side believes that the de-escalation of the situation in Karabakh would be facilitated by “the speedy adoption of measures to fully unblock the Lachin corridor and create conditions for the normal life of the civilian population.”

The Russian side believes, she added that “the speedy adoption of measures to fully unblock the Lachin corridor and create conditions for the normal life of the civilian population” will help de-escalate the situation in Karabakh.

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