More than 80 countries were holding talks on Sunday seeking common ground on Ukraine’s peace formula, as the Swiss co-hosts admitted that being ready to include Russia remains some way off.

National security advisors from 83 countries held a fourth round of discussions based on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 10-point proposals for a lasting and just peace in Ukraine, nearly two years on from Russia’s full-scale invasion.

The talks were co-chaired by Ukrainian presidential aide Andriy Yermak, who heads Zelensky’s office, and Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.

“The purpose is to prepare so that we are ready and ripe to launch a process with Russia -- when the time comes,” Cassis told a press conference.


He said the talks had to find a way to include Russia at some point, but thus far, neither Kyiv nor Moscow was ready to take such a step.

The meeting was being held in the luxury ski resort of Davos in eastern Switzerland, on the eve of the five-day World Economic Forum summit of the globe’s business and political elite.

Cassis said that rather than groups such as the G7, the G20 or the European Union coming up with their own positions, or working through the “too polarised” UN Security Council, “here we try to speak together” and find common language.

Brazil, India and South Africa participated in the talks -- countries that sit alongside Russia in the BRICS group.

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Cassis said their involvement was highly important as they were still in dialogue with Moscow and therefore retained a certain degree of trust.

He said that getting collective momentum across a wide range of countries beyond simply those in the West made it more likely that a conflict exit route could be found.

- Getting Russia on board -

“We will need to find a path to include Russia in the process. There will be no peace without Russia having its word to say,” Cassis noted.


“But this does not mean -- quite the contrary -- that we should just be depressed and sit there and wait for Russia to do something. Every minute that we wait, dozens of civilians in Ukraine are killed or wounded. We have no right to wait forever.”

Three previous national security advisor-level meetings have been held: in Copenhagen in June 2023, Jeddah in August and Malta in October.

The Davos talks were particularly focused on the criteria to end hostilities, the withdrawal of Russian troops, justice for crimes committed and the prevention of further escalation.

Cassis said it would likely be the last meeting in the national security advisor format but a higher-level gathering was possible.

He said the process was aimed at finding common approaches on the means to achieve peace, which could potentially be applied to other conflicts.

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