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Australian Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Will Not Attend Ukraine Summit in Switzerland - Report

© AP Photo / Rick RycroftAustralian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese  - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.06.2024
JAKARTA (Sputnik) - Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong will not attend the Ukraine "peace summit" in Switzerland as they will hold a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported Monday.
The Australian Foreign Ministry said the country would be represented at the summit by its Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill Shorten. The unexpected choice was made despite Kiev's requests for Australia's representation at the summit at the level of prime minister or deputy prime minister.
Shorten said that Albanese asked him to attend the summit because of his long-standing interest in Ukraine despite the fact that he has no responsibility for international affairs.
“Mr Shorten is the minister for the NDIS and doesn’t even sit on the national security committee of cabinet, making this a most confusing and inadequate appointment for anyone who looks at it,” opposition foreign affairs spokesman Simon Birmingham emphasized.
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Vladimir Khokhlov, the press secretary of the Russian Embassy in Bern, previously told Sputnik that Switzerland did not invite Russia to participate in the summit and that Moscow would not participate in any case. He added that the promoted idea of a "peace conference" is unacceptable for Russia as it "involves another attempt to push through the unworkable 'peace formula' that ignores Russian interests."
Moscow has repeatedly stated its readiness for negotiations, but Kiev has legislatively imposed a ban on them. The West calls on Russia to negotiate but at the same time ignores Ukraine's constant refusal to engage in dialogue. Earlier, the Kremlin stated that there are currently no preconditions for the situation in Ukraine to move towards a peaceful resolution and Russia's absolute priority is to achieve the goals of the special operation, which is currently possible only by military means. Kremlin officials have said that the situation in Ukraine could move towards peace only if the de facto situation and new realities are taken into account, and that all of Moscow's demands are well known.
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