Germany's Scholz: Putin's peace proposals aren't serious

Italy hosts G7 summit in Puglia

BERLIN (Reuters) - Leaders of the Group of Seven leading western industrial economies did not discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposals for peace in Ukraine since everyone knew they were not serious, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said.

Speaking from Italy shortly before leaving for Switzerland, where a Ukraine conference opens on Saturday, Scholz said Putin's proposals - for Ukraine to abandon four provinces Russia claims, stop fighting and drop its ambition of NATO membership - were aimed only at distracting from the conference.

"Everyone knows that this was proposal wasn't meant seriously, but had something to do with the peace conference in Switzerland," he told ZDF television in an interview.

World leaders were gathering in Switzerland for a summit aimed at pressuring Russia to end its war in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)