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Saudi Arabia not to take part in conference on Ukraine in Switzerland — agency

The decision was taken because of the absence of delegates from Russia

BERLIN, June 2. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia will not take part in the conference on Ukraine in Switzerland because of the absence of delegates from Russia, the DPA agency said, citing diplomatic sources in Riyadh.

According to the source, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky wanted to visit Saudi Arabia on June 1 to enroll support at the upcoming conference due to be held in Burgenstock in Switzerland on June 15 and 16, but the visit was postponed and can be organized only after the conference, the DPA sources said.

The agency reported earlier that Zelensky was expected to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud in Jeddah.

So far, Riyadh has not officially confirmed this information.

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said earlier that it had invited more than 160 delegations, including from the Group of Seven, Group of Twenty, and BRICS nations, to the conference on Ukraine in Burgenstock on June 15 and 16. Russia, according to Switzerland’s authorities, is not among those invited.

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mao Ning said that China would not attend the conference on Ukraine in Switzerland because Beijing's call for equal participation of Russia and Ukraine in the negotiations differs from the agenda of the meeting. According to the spokeswoman, China has always insisted that an international peace conference should be held with three important elements in mind: representatives of both Russia and Ukraine should be present, the participation of all sides should be equal, and all peace plans should be fairly considered.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia would not be begging to be invited to the conference if it is unwelcome. On April 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov slammed this conference as a "road to nowhere." Moscow, however, has repeatedly stressed that it doesn’t reject the idea of a peaceful resolution of the conflict with Ukraine.